The government has again put brakes in implementation of the integrated child protection scheme (ICPS) by transferring its recently-appointed mission director Rubeena Kounsar and keeping the chair vacant.
In November this year, the government had appointed Hilal Bhat, a child rights specialist who had worked with the UNICEF, as mission director ICPS but 17 days after his appointment he was removed from the chair and demoted to the post of state coordinator ICPS.
In his place, the government appointed Rubeen Kounsar as director, thus reversing the October 27 order of the social welfare department that appointed Hilal. The government received severe criticism for removing Hilal, an expert in child rights, as director.
And now the government has again kept the chair of mission director vacant by transferring Rubeena and posting her as secretary, state electricity regulatory commission (SERC).
"The minister for social welfare was also averse to the appointment of Rubeena Kounsar as director, and soon after her appointment, he didn't join the office for almost more than 10 days and wanted the chief minister to re-appoint Hilal as mission director," said a source at the social welfare department.
The source said that Rubeena was told "not to disturb the office work and let things work as they have been. This transfer order was expected to come in a week's time keeping in view the minister's stand in getting back Hilal as director."
The ICPS has not been implemented by successive governments for the past eight years. And now when it appeared that the scheme will be implemented, the government first removed Hilal unceremoniously just two weeks after his appointment and now removed Rubeena as well.
In 2013, Jammu and Kashmir signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement the ICPS with the government of India, although the scheme was launched by the ministry of women and child development in 2009.
But more than four years after signing the MoU, no efforts were made to implement the scheme on ground, although the government of India had released funds for its implementation. During the past two years, Rs 52 crore was released to execute the scheme.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state that has failed to implement the scheme, despite the fact that 90 percent of the funds will come from the government of India. The other states have to fund 40 percent of the expenditure.