STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Alleging collapse of Educational edifice in J&K, Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman-JKNPP & former Minister said that a deep rooted culture of corruption had become all pervasive in the Department and infected the system like bubonic plague. Seeking indulgence of Lt. Governor, Singh called for complete overhauling of the Department to save it from ruin and devastation at the hands of certain reckless, irresponsible functionaries. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today. Speaking on the occasion, Harsh said that during the visits of JKNPP leaders to various rural and remote areas, it was observed that majority of schools faced acute deficiency of teaching staff with several of them having become virtually defunct. He regretted that with the offices in Jammu Division having become dumping grounds for the blue eyed employees, thousands of employees including the teachers, Masters, Lecturers and even ReTs had been attached in the office of DSEJ, CEOs, ZEOs, Tehsildars, SDMs besides other offices and city schools whimsically to confer undue advantage upon those who ironically were drawing their salaries for doing nothing. He alleged that wholesale attachments had been made in each district of Jammu Division with teaching staff having been attached on extraneous considerations thus blowing to smithereens the much hyped policy on transfers. He said that hundreds of pre- mature transfers of teachers and masters had been effected without recording reasons a mandatory requirement for effecting pre- mature transfers. The transfer policy issued by the Govt. had been brazenly violated by making highly irregular transfers in thousands in Jammu Division by unscrupulous officers. Several transfers had been made on medical grounds without the requisite certificate from Standing Medical Board (SMB) of GMC Jammu which was also a mandatory requirement under the policy. Several “Zero Km” transfers had been made in violation of norms with none to take cognizance despite several complaints and reminders, Harsh divulged. Amazed by the facts about the HRA scam which had come to light in response to RTIs, he said that HRA had been released in favour of thousands of teaching and non teaching employees who had been attached in various offices, schools besides with several officers. Mr. Singh further said RTI replies last year had indicated that in DSEJ alone, 49 employees including principals, dozens of lecturers, HMs, masters and teachers from various districts and remote areas had been attached on extraneous considerations and had drawn their salaries and HRA without any justification. He claimed that during his tenure as Education Minister not a single attachment was allowed in any office of Director, or CEO, or ZEO or any other officer. And not a single transfer from city to city was effected. The functioning of Education Department under his ministry was applauded by all 87 Members of Assembly in one voice which was reported in the media as a historical achievement. Terming the withdrawal of illegitimate HRA in favour of attached employees in the past as a multi-crore scam, Harsh said that there had been a large scale bungling and swindling of funds in the education sector by a well knit mafia comprising some corrupt officers in league with vested interests. He said that several crores of rupees were siphoned by illegal withdrawal of HRA in favour of ineligible employees of the department. Calling for a high level probe into acts of omission and commission, misfeasance and malfeasance in the functioning of Education Department, Singh called for immediate detachment of all attached staff and appropriate action against defaulting officers for violation of transfer of policy.
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