SRINAGAR, Aug 19: The Mission Directorate of Jammu and Kashmir Skill Development Mission that had a target of imparting skill training to around 30,000 youth in the State with over Rs 40 crore budget has failed to conduct the trainings.
The Mission had a budget of Rs 20 crore for the year 2017-2018 to train 14,900 youth and a budget of Rs 22 crore for 2018-2019 to train 15,000 youth. However, so far the Directorate has failed to conduct the trainings despite over Rs 1 crore being spent on the salary of the employees of the Mission.
The Directorate spend around Rs 10 lakh on four seminars at Taj Vivanta, General Zorawar Singh Hall Jammu University, Taj Vivanta and SKICC Srinagar without any outcome. The Mission Directorate is also spending Rs 1.5 lakh on the rent of its office in Srinagar at Ikhwan Hotel, Khayam, when it was offered accommodation by Directorate of Technical Education.
As per the data when the Mission Directorate was with the Directorate of Technical Education, over 3500 youth were trained in 2016-17 in the State out of the funds already allotted to the Directorate.
Mohammad Asif, Communication Officer, of the Mission told Excelsior: “We have been given a target of training around 47,000 students till March 2020, for which, we have identified 82 training agencies who will be training these students. Instead of relying on outside State agencies, we have identified local agencies that are well qualified and they will be imparting training to these students.”
On the students trained, workshops, seminars, awareness camps being conducted and funds spent since last year by the Mission, Asif said: “The data is not available yet and it will take some time to gather it”.
Sources said that the Mission Directorate failed to perform as it is handled by the un-experienced staff which was handpicked by the Government at the behest of a powerful Minister in the PDP-BJP Government. Its Mission Director, Peer Ghulam Nabi, was appointed (Govt Order 98 Edu (Tech) of 2017 dated 08-09-2017) Consultant in the Technical Education Department last year in blatant violation of appointment rules and without advertising the post on the monthly salary of Rs 60,000.
After record time of 11 days, the handpicked Consultant was appointed (Vide Government order No: 1204 GAD of 2017 Dated: 19-09-2017) as Mission Director on monthly salary of Rs 1.25 lakh and the order of his appointed was kept a top secret and has not been till date uploaded on the website of the General Administrative Department (GAD).
The KAS officers had strongly protested his appointment that was done in gross violation of rules. In a representation made to then Chief Minister, the KAS officers had asked: “When an IAS Officer is directly recruited he gets entry level salary Rs 56100, but how this blue eyed boy directly taken from open market without any interview or exam gets Rs 1.25 lakh. How has he been put on pay grade of Rs. 8700 which a senior most officer of KAS Cadre gets after putting in 20 years of his/her service in Government sector”. They had also asked from the Chief Minister how GAD and then Chief Secretary gave clearance to the appointment of the Mission Director when a senior KAS officer could have been posted there. They have now sought intervention from Governor NN Vohra and have appealed him to look into appointment of Mission Director and his staff.
The former Minister not only managed to get him appointed on a higher grade but also as lifelong Director of the Mission. “In the supersession of Government Order No: 98- Edu(Tech) of 2017 Ghulam Nabi as ex-officio Mission Director, J&K Skill Development Mission, on the following terms and conditions. The engagement of Dr. Peer Ghulam Nabi as Ex-officio Mission Director, J&K Skill Development Mission shall be co-terminus with the life of the project/mission and the emoluments payable to him shall be equivalent to pay/TA/DA/Leave/Housing/Transport/Medical Allowance as admissible to an officer of the level of the Director in J&K Government.”
The Mission Director made eight appointments, mostly his friends and former Minister’s relatives by violating the norms soon after he was appointed when he could have taken staff from the Technical Education department. Those appointed persons are: Mohammad Asif as Communication Officer, Sibat Saheem Qureshi as Event Manager, Ishtiyaq Amin Shah as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Saba Anjum as Office Superintendent, Fasil Hassan and Dhreeshit Jasrotia as office Assistants and Sunny Kashyap, Mudassir Mohammad Khan, Ayub Mohidin Khan and Shafat Ahmad Mir as orderlies.
The Communication Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Event Manager are gazetted cadre posts, while Office Superintendent is highly technical post and has never been appointed directly.