Srinagar, Dec 20: The School Education Department (SED) has withdrawn placement of around 72 school teachers and masters as in-lecturers over 'invalid' postgraduate degrees.
The order to this effect has been issued by the Principal Secretary SED, Alok Kumar noting that the incumbents have been reverted to their substantive posts and will continue to be posted at the same place of posting against the available substantive post of Teacher and Master. The placement of these masters and teachers has been withdrawn in the discipline of Environmental Science in respect of those who have obtained Post-Graduate Degrees through Distance Mode.
Notably, the department had earlier placed teachers and masters including these 72 candidates as in-charge lecturers in the Environmental Sciences with purported PG Degree in Environmental Science or Ecology and Environment through Distance Mode from Institutions and Universities outside.
"The placement orders were subject to the conditions that the Director School Education Jammu and Kashmir will verify the Post Graduate Degrees obtained during service through Distance Mode in light of Government Order No. 940-Edu 2017 dated 17.11.2017 and shall allow such Masters and Teachers to join only if the PG Degrees are found genuine," the order reads.
The order reads that the Director School Education Jammu and Kashmir were directed to allow these candidates to join only after verifying the following the mode of acquiring degree (i.e. 10+2+2 with bridge course or 10+2+3) as well as genuineness of PG Certificates and the institutions from which the candidate acquired such degrees are valid.
"It was ordered that if any of the above mentioned conditions is not fulfilled by the official, he or she will not be allowed to join and the Directorate shall refer the case to the Administrative Department for further course of action within 30 days, from issuance of order," the SED order reads.
The order reads that besides satisfying the conditions laid down in the said Government order, concerned Directors were asked to furnish clear cut recommendations, whether the candidates are eligible for inclusion in seniority and promotion.
"The recommendations furnished by the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) reveals that the candidates mentioned in the list do not fulfill the conditions as laid down in Government Order No. 940-Edu of 2017 dated November 17 of 2017," the order reads, adding that the recommendations of DSEK in respect of candidates in Annexure-B reflect that equivalence of subject was required.
The order reads that the communication received from University of Kashmir and University of Jammu state that the degree obtained in Ecology and Environment through distance mode from different Universities outside UT of J&K cannot be given equivalence with M.Sc. Environment Science obtained from Kashmir University or Jammu University.
"As per the recommendations furnished by Director School Education Jammu reveals the candidates do not meet out the requirements as per the conditions laid down in relevant Government Orders," the order reads.
The order reads that the Dean Academics University of Kashmir has examined the issue and observed that the PG in Ecology and Environment is a Distance mode degree through franchises and is not equivalent to the corresponding degrees of PG Environmental Science, University of Kashmir Srinagar and hence is not recognised by the University.
"The PG degree in Environmental Science falls in the science stream (Faculty of physical and material science) where lab oriented and fi eld practical form the core part of the curriculum which is lacking in the distance mode degrees," the order reads while referring to the observations made by the Dean Academics KU.
As per the order, the same views have been given by the University of Jammu regarding the equivalence of the degrees. The SED in its order has referred to various High Court judgments to justify the decision taken to withdraw the placement orders.
"It has been found from the records that the incumbents have obtained their degrees through distance mode which cannot be considered for the purposes of seniority and promotion or otherwise to the post of Lecturer in Environmental Sciences," the order reads.
The order reads that the degree obtained by the in-service candidate without obtaining proper permission from the competent authority cannot be reckoned valid particularly for the purposes of seniority and promotion.