Govt orders probe in continuation of retired officers in Cluster University Srinagar

'Other universities under scanner for violation of norms'
Representational Image
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Srinagar, Aug 5: What could blow lid off the engagement of retired officers in universities, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered a high-level inquiry into the continuation of some retired officers in Cluster University Srinagar to fix the responsibility for the 'lapse'.

As per the government order, Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) has been appointed as an inquiry officer to conduct an enquiry into the matter of allowing retired officers to continue in Cluster University Srinagar (CUS).

"The inquiry officer will fix responsibility of the officers and officials who exceeded their authority and passed orders without approval of Competent Authority," reads an order issued by Principal Secretary General Administration Department (GAD) Manoj Kumar Dwivedi.

As per the order, the Special Secretary Higher Education Department (HED) has been appointed as the Presenting Officer in the case.

"The Inquiry Officer shall submit the report within a period of one month," the order reads.

A CUS official informed Greater Kashmir that some retired principals continued as Deans during the tenure of the former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University.

"As of now there are no such retired professors holding any position in the University," he said.

The official said that a few years ago, three professors from different colleges were deputed by government to CUS for two years. Following this, some posts at Amar Singh College were upgraded to the professor post to draw their salary.

"But in mid of their deputation period, these professors attained superannuation following which the Amar Singh College principal stopped their salary," the official said.

He said despite stopping their salary after their retirement, they continued in the University for complete two years and later approached the Court with their plea to get their salary released.

"After attaining superannuation, they were supposed to get disengaged but they continued in the University," he said. He said the Court also issued orders in their favour and directions were issued to release their pending salary.

"Following Court orders, we placed the case before HED and a committee was constituted to ascertain the facts. The fresh order is the outcome of this as well," he said.

According to sources in the UT administration, many officers in J&K universities have been re-engaged under the pretext of Consultants, Need-Based Officers in violation of norms. In view of the rising graph of unemployment as well as the fact that there is no policy with universities to make such engagements, the matter of CUS has led to the probe.

"If there are other universities who have resorted to such a practice, they cannot escape law and shall be made accountable," the sources said, adding that other universities were also under scanner for such violations.

"Officials responsible for exceeding their powers to make such recommendations/re-engagements will be held accountable. There can be a probe by investigating agencies as well if needed," the sources disclosed.

Sources said some Consultants in universities have been engaged in monthly stipends alongside taking their pensions which amounts to double drawals in absence of any approval to such engagements by the competent authorities.

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