After outcry, KU disengages all ‘retiree employees’

Had questioned rationale behind such engagements: VC | Similar action likely in other varsities in next 2-3 days
After outcry, KU disengages all ‘retiree employees’
File/ GK

Srinagar, Aug 22: The University of Kashmir (KU) authorities Monday disengaged all employees who had been engaged in the varsity over the years after their retirement from active service.

The action, a significant development, comes after Greater Kashmir twice reported in the last month that the J&K universities including KU had turned into rehabilitation centres for retired employees who were heavily draining the varsity’s exchequer.

“I had written on the file on August 17 that all retiree employees who had been re-engaged in the varsity should be disengaged,” KU Vice Chancellor Prof Neelofar Khan told Greater Kashmir. “Being in the (university) system, I was aware of it (post-retirement re-engagements). I had already questioned the rationale behind re-engagements made till further orders.”

She confirmed that all such “re-engagees” had been disengaged with immediate effect.

On August 6, Greater Kashmir first reported that all universities in J&K were under the scanner of the government for making re-engagement of retired employees allegedly in gross violation of norms, UGC guidelines, and directions of the J&K Finance Department.

Sources in the KU said that the orders of disengagement were served to all disengaged employees on Monday following the second news report in Greater Kashmir that many employees had been re-engaged in the university’s Administration Block and Examination Department as “consultants” in the last five years on a consolidated salary after their retirement from active service.

The sources said that the issue was also flagged as serious by the government authorities who intervened “at the top level” and issued directions to KU to “immediately disengage” all employees who had been re-engaged after their retirement.

“Similar directions are expected to be issued to other universities who had made such engagements, failing which action against the concerned heads of institutions can be initiated under the rules,” the sources said. “Some investigating agencies have also stepped to probe the matter and have sought relevant details from the university authorities regarding such ‘illegal re-engagements.’”

In the KU, it was reported that a “consultant” in the IT Directorate, who was a former Deputy Registrar in KU with a non-IT background, was re-engaged continuously since his retirement some six years ago owing to his alleged proximity with the officials of the directorate.

Moreover, in the past four to five years, more than half a dozen employees had been re-engaged as “consultants” in absence of any policy in vogue for such re-engagements and without any approval of the University Syndicate, University Council, or the Chancellor.

Several educated unemployed youth had also flagged the issue and demanded that such re-engagements should be thoroughly probed and officials responsible for mooting such proposals should be acted upon under the rules.

“Who mooted proposals for such post-retirement engagements and why needs to be inquired. It should also be inquired as to why educated unemployed youth were not given a chance to prove their mettle and why these posts were not filled through proper advertisements,” they said.

Meanwhile, action is likely to follow against such re-engagements in other universities including Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) Rajouri, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, Kashmir (SKUAST-K), and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora.

In BGSBU, one retired AMU professor who is nearing 70 years is being continuously re-engaged for the last five years owing to his alleged proximity with the authorities who incidentally come from AMU.

“We are expecting action in other universities in the next few days,” the sources said.

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