Notwithstanding a brazen violation of service norms and invalid PG degrees obtained by the majority of Physical Education Teachers (PETs) and Physical Education Masters (PEMs), promoted Physical Education Lecturers (PELs) in the Department of Youth Services and Sports (YSS) J-K in 2008, have been ensconced in their cosy chairs till date.
192 PEMs and PETs were placed as Physical Education Lecturers (PELs), in different Government Higher Secondary Schools of J-K on 27 June 2008 under government order no. 77-Edu (Tech) of 2008, despite having invalid degrees or the same pursued while in-service by overt violation of norms.
The promotions of PELs were objected to by a deputation of employees of the YSS department in April 2010 by saying that the appointed lecturers were in possession of fake and illegitimate degrees.
“However, then Director YSS was already directed to re-check the eligibility of PEMs and PETs in terms of draft Recruitment Rules cleared by the ARI department and verification of the genuineness of their PG qualifications before placing them to higher posts,” cited in order 60 Edu(Tech) of 2008 dated 25 April 2008.
Later, a verification team was constituted headed by the Deputy Directors of the YSS department for rechecking the Physical Education Lecturers’ PG qualifications. As per government order no. 130-Edu (Tech) of 2010, before the same report could have reached the Administrative Department, the incumbents were allowed to join their respective place of postings.
It also stated that the report was either not submitted to the Administrative Department or in connivance with the interested incumbents, the report was not placed before the competent authority for perusal and necessary action.
After a hue and cry from the employees of YSS in April 2010 regarding the placement of Physical Education Lecturers, who as per them were having fake degrees, the then Director YSS was asked to submit the verification report and the same was followed and submitted under vide no. DYSS/Estt/2389 in which the director had pointed out gross violations but was again not put before competent authority for perusal and necessary action, which clearly implies a nexus between the alleged erring lecturers and other officials supposed to forward the report.
However, one of the official documents, lying with a local news agency, Kashmir News Bureau (KNB), shows that “in one of the verification reports in 2009, the then Director YSS had highlighted some of the irregularities pertaining to some lecturers which were: a few degrees were not at par with PG, some PETs/PEMs had undergone M. P. Ed during service career without availing any kind of leave and permission from competent authority, most PEMs/PETs had not sought permission of the competent authority for undergoing M. P. Ed courses outside the state and in few cases post facto leave entries were made but salary is drawn on a regular basis against attendance.”
In one of the departmental verification reports bearing no. DYSS/5834 regarding the lecturers in Physical Education, it said that besides others, things observed in the M.P. Ed/M. ED (Physical) course degrees is that there is no similarity of said degrees and it varies the period of duration. “Some Institutions/ Universities award one year, two-year and three-year degree summer courses respectively while others award two years regular courses and three years vocational courses,” the verification report said.
Regarding the permission granted to PEMs and PETs for pursuing their M.P. Ed/ M. Ed (Physical) degrees from outside the state are concerned, no permission for the said purpose was granted by the competent authority except one official, the report said, adding that rest all the permissions were granted by other officials and in some cases, no permission was granted for the said purpose (to pursue M. P. Ed degree).
“As regards availing of leave for pursuing the M.P. Ed/ M. Ed. (Physical) degrees from outside the state, very negligible leave has been availed by the concerned PEMs/PETs while in some cases, not even a single day leave is availed by them,” reads the verification report.
In 2016, among 192 promoted lecturers, 97 were declared clear cases by the High Court after the formation of UGC expert committee. Whereas in pursuit of a vigilance organization’s direction to initiate Regular Departmental Action (RDA), the YSS comes up with the RDA report in 2018 against PETs and PEMs, which said that out of 30 incumbents, 27 cases’ genuineness of certificates was endorsed by concerned Universities and regarding three persons, the RDA said that adverse remarks were obtained from the Universities against two among them and one promoted Physical Education Lecturer’s University could not be located. And these three officers unthinkably are still on gazette posts despite being flagged in the RDA report.
The RDA report also exonerates several PELs on the basis of their Universities examination records and other factors but, as per the source, the RDA report disregarded the fact that the ‘exonerated’ PELs’ degrees were obtained in contravention of rules.
As per the source, some PELs, promoted through order no. 60 are presently on higher posts and others are on the same given that the government had categorically said on 6-12-2013 via order no. 215 Edu (Tech) of 2013 that “some teachers and masters have acquired the degree of M.P. Ed. of one-year duration only, which is not valid and equivalent to two years degree. Some of them also have vocational M.P. Ed. degree for which they have attended course work during three spells of vacations only in three years, which too is not a substitute for two years regular degree.”
“It was decided that such M. P. Ed. degrees shall not be taken on the service record of the holders and consequently no consideration would be accorded to them for their promotion to higher positions on the basis of these degrees,” reads the government order no 215 of the year 2013. But still, they are enjoying the gazette posts and their continued services flies in the face of the government order.
Given the gravity of issue, which involves service norms violations, presenting one year course as two years M. P. Ed. degree and other manipulations, the department still had issued one-time relaxation in their favour besides recovering a mere amount of salaries, which is disproportionate to the act done by several PETs and METs, promoted for the post of PELs in 2008 by managing to circumvent the proper scrutiny of their degrees’ genuineness at that time either by a lapse or being in collusion with other officers. (KNB)