JAMMU, Jan 10: How serious were the previous Governments and present PDP-BJP dispensation towards the promotion of art, culture and languages in the State, could be gauged from the fact that not even a single meeting of the Governing Body of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages could be held in last 35 years in the J&K state.
Not only this, the Academy has been rendered to move on crutches as about 106 posts, including 29 Gazetted and 64 Non-Gazeted cadre officials, are lying vacant here. There is no vice president and even the posts of divisional heads are also not filled up since long.
The startling revelations were made by the Minister of State for Culture and School Education, Priya Sethi while responding to the question and subsequent supplementary of PDP member Zafar Iqbal Manhas. Manhas alleged that JKAACL has nearly been made defunct as no much attention has been given to it by the respective past Governments.
Manhas asked about details of the posts lying vacant and the reason for not filling up these posts. He also asked about the present status of the Tehzeeb Mahal and reasons for not handing over Hari Niwas Palace to the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. He regretted the slow pace of work on Tehzeeb Mahal.
Mrs Sethi while responding to the questions raised by PDP member said that it is for the first time in last 35 years that this Govt held meeting of the Governing Body of the JKAACL. Why the previous Governments not ever bothered for it, only they can respond. It is mandatory to hold such meeting once in a year. She said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as president/ chairperson of the JKAACL, chaired the meeting last month and many issues related to the welfare of the Academy were discussed. She said the meeting also discussed the matter related to some administrative reforms.
The Minister further disclosed that at present 106 posts are lying vacant in the JKAACL. They include, 29 Gazetted, 64 Non-Gazetted and 13 of Class-IV cadre. She said certain modifications are required in the recruitment rules. The Central Committee in its meeting held on October 3, 2016 approved constitution of a committee for reframing service rules. As soon as the rules are modified \the process of filling up of posts will start.
Replying to another question, she said foundation of the Tehzeeb Mehal was laid by the then Chief Minister on January 22, 2013. The initial estimate cost of the project is Rs 72 crore and till now Rs 4.75 core have been spent on it. The project is being executed by JKPCC. On Hari Niwas Palace issue, she said the Department has not received any communication/ order in this regard.