Stagnation, pay disparity mars careers of PELs

*Departmental rules thrown into winds
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 14: Prolonged delay in regularization/confirmation and disparity in pay scale has marred careers of hundreds of Physical Education Lecturers (PELs) working with the Department of Youth Services and Sports since their promotion in 2008, after reorganisation of the Department in 2006.
Sources said that the Department of Youth Services and Sports since its inception and independent status in 1973, had been working rather functioning under the rules and regulations of its parent organization, the Department of Education, adding that the DYSS after its re-organization in the year 2006 made series of endeavours and succeeded in establishing its own rules in 2015, but is yet to implement the same in letter and spirit, leaving a big number of DYSS employees in the lurch.
Sources further said that apart from the creation of posts in the Central Secretariat of the Department like Joint Directors and Deputy Directors, maiden posts of 386 Physical Education Lecturers (PELs) and 199 Zonal Physical Education Officers (ZPEOs) were created in the Department vide Govt Order No-140-Tech-Edu of 2006 dated 13-11-2006. However, Physical Education Lecturers are receiving an indifferent treatment because of the non-implementation of the ‘Rules’ of the Department.
Sources close to the Central Secretariat of the Department said that the Physical Education Teachers and Physical Education Masters have been drawing the salary at par with the Teachers and Masters of the Education Department, adding that the Physical Education Lecturers have been receiving a curt treatment with regard to their confirmation and Pay Scale despite clear-cut directions by the High Court vide No-14163 dated 31-08-2012.
“How humiliating is it that among a total of 59 subjects (few inducted even after Physical Education) in the educational curriculum, the Lecturers of all these subjects, except Physical Education have same pay and grade, despite the fact that Teachers and Masters of both the Departments are at par as far as their Pay Scale is concerned. In-spite of the fact that the concerned authorities have admitted that it has been a typing error, the Grade of Physical Education Lecturers is yet to be cleared,” said an Officer of the Department while expressing anonymity.
He said as per SRO 225 dated 18-08-2005 of the Finance Department, all the subject Lecturers have been placed in the Pay Scale of 9300-34800 Plus Grade Pay 5400 (revised), however, the Physical Education Lecturers are the only exception.
“Though most of the Physical Education Lecturers are drawing the salary at par with the Pay Scale of other Lecturers as per the Court directions, but their Grade is yet to be officially cleared by the Finance Department despite the fact that its clearance would hardly have much effect on Government Exchequer,” said General Secretary of the Physical Education Lecturers Forum while expressing anguish over the pro-longed delay by the concerned authorities in removing their pay disparity.
Sources said that Education Department, on the one hand, is preparing a seniority list of thousands of lecturers and confirming the same every now and then, while, on the other hand, the Department of Youth Services and Sports, has yet to release a seniority list of just 120 Physical Education Lecturers, despite the lapse of around 10 years after their promotion in 2008.
Sources further said that the Department in 2015-16 had released a tentative seniority list of Physical Education Lecturers and published the same in Newspapers, after verification and securitization of the documents, adding that the list is no more in existence.
Sources further revealed that the Department had scrutinized and verified the documents of Lecturers more than five times since their promotion, but, for unknown reasons, is still not in a position to prepare the seniority list for their confirmation, adding that the Committees framed by the Department earlier to scrutinize the documents of Postgraduates, hardly comprised of any member having Postgraduate Degree.
“How can you justify fair preparation of the seniority list of the Physical Education Lecturers (Postgraduates) by the members who themselves are not Postgraduates. For that matter, constitution of Committee by the Department to scrutinize the documents of Postgraduates invites criticism.
Rather, the constitution of such committees puts a question mark on the functioning of the Administrative block of the Department,” said a Physical Education Lecturer while giving vent to his feelings.
However, as per the reliable sources, the Department has presently prepared a new seniority list of the PELs for their regularisation, which needs a serious intervention of the higher authorities so that these employees are no more left in the lurch.
“There is a custom that the trained professionals in every field are appointed in various departments, under technical pay scales. However, trained physical educationists in J&K, after their promotion as PELs, rather than getting technical grades, have been deprived of their fundamental right of having the pay and grade at par with their counterparts in other subjects. However, after English Subject Lecturers, it is the Physical Education Lecturers, who deal with most of the students,” said eminent educationist while showing concern over the plight of PELs.
Sources said that what was more astonishing rather humiliating was that the in-charge District Sports Officers, Assistant Directors and even Deputy Directors have been retiring and have retired as Physical Education Masters in the Department, adding that despite repeated requests and reminders, Government is not taking any serious measures to solve this long pending problem by confirming all the cadres in a systematic manner.
According to reliable sources, the Districts Sports Offices are only being run by giving additional charges to the ‘blue-eyed’ rather than confirming the existing cadres and promoting them to fill the vacancies.
It is pertinent to mention here that all those States which have a good name and fame in the field of sports, have introduced Physical Education as subject at the primary level for better results and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is striving hard to carve a space on the National sports map, is facing problems in running Physical Education as subject at Plus-2 Level because of the non implementation of the Departmental Rules.
For helping the sportspersons of the Union Territory to flourish at the national scene, the introduction of Physical Education as subject at the primary level is the need of the hour.
Lieutenant Governor, GC Murmu’s Administration needs to solve the issue at an earliest as the time is ripe for the same.
Meanwhile, Physical Education Lecturers Forum has requested the Lieutenant Governor to serve strict instructions to the concerned authorities with regard to regularisation of the PELs (who face stagnation since 2008) and removal of their pay disparity at an earliest.