Inchargeism hits School Education Department badly

Satish Pandit
LG J&K Girish Chandra Murmu issued significant directions with regard to Human Resource issues vis-a-vis Government employees. The directions have been issued to all the departments to fix timelines for resolution of HR matters like finalisation of recruitment rules, inclusion in seniority lists, promotions and convening regular Department Promotion Committee (DPC) meetings. The direction if implemented on the ground is destined to change the work culture and inspire all the cadres to work with efficiency dedication and commitment across the spectrum of Government machinery. It will infuse new blood in the Government set up to implement the Government policies and programmes on the ground in right earnest. One of the major issues that serves as an impediment in efficient work culture is the delay in the resolution of human resorce issues of the employees. The unwarranted delay in the resolution of genuine concerns of the employees dejects and detracts them. Their mental and physical energy gets drained in resolution of their issues than serving the people with efficiency.
School Education Department is the corner stone for shaping the destiny of the society. But, unfortunately, it is a living example of unwarranted delays in the resolution of human resource issues. The issue of promotion and regularisation has been allowed to look like a monster that has led to inertia and policy paralysis in the department. Not to speak of the promotions even to get a genuine and suitable adjustment is a nightmarish experience. The transfer orders, particularly in Jammu division, are kept in abeyance more times than being implemented on the ground.
The department is plagued with the syndrome of ‘Inchargeism’. More than eight thousand cadres of Headmasters, Lecturers, Principals, Chief Education Officers, Joint Directors are working in incharge capacity for years together. It has adversely affected the working of such employees as they feel dejected and neglected and are forced to fulfil the formalities umpteen times. Ironically, these employees have to undergo same process of submission and verification of documents repeatedly for inclusion in seniority lists, on the eve of placement and after placement and then unaccounted times till the elusive regularisation /confirmation. For many years, the department did not address the issue of placement and regularisation ostensibly on the issue of validity of degree certificates obtained through distance mode. After protracted struggle of the teaching community, the Govt issued SRO 339 Dt 20-12-2005 and in consultation with the related departments, evolved a mechanism for the same vide Government Order No. 940-Edu of 2017, Dated 17-11-2017 and also issued an clarification vide No. Edu/HRM-1P 2019/38 Dated 19-12-2019. The order generated hope amongst the concerned that the department will speed up the process but the hopes were belied.
The relentless efforts of the community forced the State Government to take the initiative and “One Time Relaxation” in regularisation was granted through Cabinet decision. The same was circulated through Govt Order No. 707-Edu of 2018, Dated : 28–05-2018. But the delay in implementation of the order at the administrative level allowed judicial intervention that led to the abortion of the process.
Sensing the gravity of the situation and to streamline the process, the State Administrative Council headed by the Governor Satpal Malik took the decision to speed up the process of regularisation and promotions in the School Education Department. The Administrative Department issued three consecutive orders vide Nos 114, 115 and 116 on January 23, 2019 in this regard. More importantly under Order No. 116, on HR Cell was created in the department to address the issue of regularisation on the priority basis. The spirit of the Administrative Council decision was again defeated as almost one year has passed but the process has been held hostage to the so called process of verification and vigilance clearance. Only two or three subjects have been cleared and the circumstantial evidence suggests that they got cleared more because of other reasons than the natural process. There is no two opinion that a person who is involved in corruption or other criminal activities or has illegitimate degree has no right to get regularised. But the million dollar question arises how he first got elevated and in the absence of regularisation does the system deprive him of any financial or administrative powers ? The answer to the second part is big ‘No’. For one black sheep, if any, the whole flock cannot be victimised. Hundreds of these incharge cadres have either died or are staring in the eyes of death because of oldage or ailments. To delay their confirmation on the pretext of verification of documents or vigilance clearance amounts to insult to their sincere service to the department.
The Administrative Department or the Vigilance section of the General Administration Department cannot adopt different yards ticks for different subjects. The administration cannot do justice if individuals at the helm of affairs are allowed to work on their fancies and whims that is galore in this case. Lack of accountability is helping the unscruplous elements in the administration to throw directives to the wind and spanner in the wheel of the delivery of justice. The procedure adopted by such unscrupulous elements is aimed at breeding corruption than delivering justice. The documents stand verified and any attempt to further delay the process of regularisation on the pretext is obnoxious.
To conclude, if Girish Chandra Murmu alongwith the present dispensation has to look different from the predecessors, unequivocal directions are needed to the concerned authorities so that all the cadres are regularised in one go at the earliest. If the HR issues are resolved timely and accountibility infused in the administration across the board, people will have practical feel of the difference in the present dispensation.