Ad-hoc(ism) galore in Govt departments

An impromptu, rough and ready and makeshift approach, known in common parlance as ad-hoc (ism) towards managing Government departments, more or less, has become as an established norm and a practice over the last many years in Jammu and Kashmir. Not only does this avoidable practice and clumsy procedure generate lot of litigations by those who feel being deprived of their right and due but the decision making process, accountability and performance are all suffering. What principle, after all, can govern granting promotions to and on in-charge basis thus circumventing the efficacy of recognised and established institutions like Public Service Commission, Departmental Promotion Committees and other bodies? We have been, time and again, pointing out various lacunae in the system related to human resources development and dealing in personnel matters, be it direct recruitment, promotions, transfers, imparting trainings and conducting workshops, critical assessment of individual performance and efficiency, rewards and punishments , disciplinary actions and prosecutions .
The travesty is that most of the actions by the Government and its various agencies are taken only as a result of court interventions and receiving directions therefrom. The question, however, is in how many instances and still astonishing and astounding are the ways of how court directives too, in most of the cases, are managed to be disregarded. In respect of the disorder and ‘plight’ of ad-hoc(ism), clear cut directives of the country’s Apex Court which aims at discouraging the patch work approach in Government departments, are about to be implemented even after 20 years of such directions from the court. Promotions on ‘in-charge’ basis continue to be the guiding factors of the process by the administrative mechanism.
The Supreme Court had passed directions in the matter which should have been treated as a sort of Code Book to be referred to not only in cases of need but as a guideline on ongoing basis but since status -quo -ante continues to be the thumb rule, a Division Bench of the High Court has not only viewed the lapse seriously but even passed strictures against the Government. Rightly so, it has sought information in respect of the specific plans and procedures from the Chief Secretary and the General Administration Department in respect of doing away with the provisional and adhockery system. Even all the Government departments have been asked to furnish information on certain key points but before September 4, 2020. Posts are vacant but they are not filled, direct recruitments are not made and departments in most of the cases, remain headless. At best, ‘Deputies’ are asked to look after the Head post in addition to their own, resulting in a mess and hotchpotch affecting output , efficiency and speed, quality and volume.
The Supreme Court, in this connection, had directed the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to appoint a high level committee within a month to examine related issues. The court had explicitly made clear that the Government would consider making direct recruitment expeditiously depending on the needs in the service and other relevant factors. That no ‘promotees’ are put in the direct recruitment quota, temporarily or on stopgap basis and to suggest ways as to how direct recruitment could keep pace with promotions as contemplated by rules.
It can, however, be rued only under the circumstances that even after two decades, the Apex Court’s directives continue to remain not complied with. We expect, with the changed scenario for the last one year in Jammu and Kashmir, this problem would be looked into with all seriousness so that efficiency and performance in the departments did not suffer and the eligible personnel for promotions under rules would not be bypassed and unnecessary litigations, time and Government money did not suffer any more.