Transfers Continue On Sale In Education Department.
Who Will Bell The Cat …….. ?
By Sandeep Singh
R Gopal Sharma
( FLASH BACK )
Tara Chand left School Edu deptt in shambles Forest guard Kewal’s choices forced cabinet shuttling 11 IAS, KAS officers
National Conference (NC)-Congress coalition government is credited with virtually destroying the school education department and leaving the administrative as well as academic set-up in complete shambles.
A young, upright and bright IAS officer Simrandeep Singh had been entrusted with the job of resurrecting the department in Jammu region but it was not known for how long new democratically elected government as and when it took over would allow him to continue as Director School Education (DSE) Jammu. All the democratically elected governments had a tendency of shuttling officers here and there when they took over.
If the manner in which NC-Cong coalition government ran this critically important department was taken into account, Simrandeep Singh’s stay was likely to be cut short if he failed to find favours with the new dispensation. NC-Cong coalition government saw three school education ministers. The department was handed over to Peerzada Mohammed Sayeed of Congress when Omar Abdullah took over as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in January 2009.
Sayeed took over School Education ministry in January 2009 with Zahida Khan, daughter of an ex-Congress Member Parliament (MP) and politically well-connected, as Director School Education. She had been posted as Director School Education (DSE) Jammu by Ghulam Nabi Azad in July 2008, when he was heading the Congress-led coalition government with PDP. Peerzada preferred not to disturb the equation and allowed Khan to complete her mandatory two year tenure.
Zahida was transferred out on November 22, 2010 i.e. exactly after two years and 4 months.
Zahida was replaced by another KAS officer Gulzar Qureshi, who had earlier also worked with Peerzada during the PDP-Congress coalition government. Qureshi joined on November 23, 2010. While Qureshi was Director School Education (DSE) Jammu; Peerzada Mohammed Sayeed was forced to resign due to a scam on February 11, 2012 i.e. exactly after 3 years of having taken over as School Education Minister. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah kept the portfolio with him.
He did not disturb Qureshi and ensured that he completes his tenure. Qureshi was shifted out of School Education Department on December 17, 2012; i.e. a month prior to NC-Congress did a massive cabinet reshuffle on January 16, 2013. Ex-Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in his capacity as School Education minister replaced Gulzar Qureshi with a bright, upright and honest officer Dev Lata Sharma. She joined on December 17, 2012. On January 16, 2013; the then Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand was given the portfolio of School Education.
Aided and abetted by his special PRO Kewal Krishan Sharma, ex-Deputy CM Tara Chand began feeling discomfortable with Dev Lata Sharma and made no bones in making it known to one and all. The then PRO of Deputy Chief Minister wanted Dev Lata to work, according to his whims and fancies. In one incident, Kewal wanted the then Director School Education (DSE) to transfer a Junior Assistant, as per his wishes. Dev Lata resisted and this led to Tara Chand seeking his transfer.
Cabinet accepted his wish and replaced Dev Lata with senior IAS officer Hilal Ahmed Parray on February 26, 2013 i.e. within 2 months and 9 days of her taking over as Director School Education (DSE) Jammu. Parray was not allowed to even complete cooling period and shifted out of the department on March 15, 2013 i.e. within just 17 days of being posted in this critically important department. Hilal was replaced with another IAS officer Pandurang Pole. Such was the urgency of shifting Hilal that Pole was told to join within hours of having been posted as DSE, Jammu.
Pole too felt within short period of time that transfers of teachers and lecturers especially those which were being recommended by Kewal would become a major scam and further damage his career prospects. He proceeded on leave within months of taking over and consequent upon this, Gulzar Ahmed Qureshi, now retired and who was then Director Industries and Commerce (I&C) Jammu was given additional charge of DSE. Qureshi served the department for about two months and was replaced by PK Pole on his return from training.
But within few weeks of his joining, Pole was shifted out and S.K.Gandotra was given the charge of Director School Education. Even this combination did not impress the then School Education Minister Tara Chand who replaced him with Saurabh Bhagat on September 4, 2013. Bhagat was shunted out within 21 days on October 1, 2013. He was replaced with a secretary level officer Tushar Kanti Sharma, who accepted being posted as Director School Education. Sharma took over on October 1, 2013 and was show the door on July 24, 2014 only to be replaced with H.R.Pakhroo who was also shown the door within 3 months on October 22, 2014.
Tara Chand’s ace man Choudhary Rashid Azam Inqalabi was posted as Director School Education (DSE) Jammu on October 23, 2014. But as soon as NC-Congress coalition was voted out, Governor N.N.Vohra too contributed to the mess by transferring Inqalabi and replacing him IAS officer Simrandeep Singh on January 27, 2015 i.e. within 3 months of department being handed over to the senior KAS officer. Overall, NC-Congress coalition saw 11 officers manning the school education department in the last six years and wreaking havoc without any checks and balances.
Advance transfer orders were being prepared as mafia gets active in SED
Even before the end of the academic session, transfer mafia had become active in the School Education Department, particularly in the Directorate of School Education Jammu.
According to sources, the mafia had started accepting advance payments for getting the transfer and posting orders affected as soon as the formal nod is given by the Administrative Department, which had banned transfers for few months.
The situation could be gauged from the fact that advance transfer and posting orders were also being prepared. Duly signed by the concerned authority but without number date, these orders were produced to the aspirants for securing bribe in advance, sources explained. Pertinent to mention that the School Education Department had virtually become a hub of transfer industry notwithstanding tall claims of the Government.
Sources said that the transfer mafia involved officers of different rank and some politicians, who were hand in glove with each other for getting the desired orders issued for the persons offering money. While those paying bribe were adjusted at suitable and convenient places. Those who could not afford to offer money, were dislocated to far flung and remote places.
These are number of such individuals, who had never served out of Jammu city and its outskirts whereas on the other hand, some Masters and Lecturers had been forced to serve in remote areas of other districts since years together and not repatriated to the home district.
Sources said that this transfer mafia, which had established its roots during the then Education Minister Tara Chand and his Deputy PRO Kewal, is still being operated by the corrupt officials and some politicians having good connections in the corridors of power.
Bad Habits Never Die ?
Recently, in the transfers list issued on August 23, 2019, the School Education department transferred a lot of 600 teachers, as per serial numbers shown on the order. However, the transfer list actually involves over 700 teachers, 100 of them ‘transferred vice so and so person’.
Notwithstanding two FIRs pending investigations with Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) involving two former Education Directors among many KAS officers, hurriedly prepared list allegedly in lieu of hefty amount even shows some teachers posted at two government schools at the same time. Kiran Bala, Teacher Govt Middle School Rehari has been posted at two places simultaneously. At serial number 150, Bala has been posted to Govt Middle School Jajjar Kotli and at serial number 219 Bala has been asked to join Govt Middle School Kanachak.
At serial number 54, Irshad Choudhary, Govt Middle School Majeen has been transferred to Govt Middle School Majeen. Surinder Singh, at serial number 101, has been transferred from Govt High School Gurah Brahamna to Govt High School Gurah Brahamna.
Similarly, at serial number 102, Madan Mohan has been transferred to Govt High School Gurah Brahamna from Govt High School Gurah Brahamna.
Charanjit Kour, at serial number 126, Govt Higher Secondary School, Miran Sahib has been posted to Govt Higher Secondary School, Miran Sahib.
This has been done to break their stay as generally the teachers are transferred from one school to another within a period of two years.
Sources informed that most of these teachers are working in these schools for the past over six to eight years. Just to break their stay, the department has devised a new formula to get the teachers transferred in same schools.
At serial number 304, 307, 311, three ReT teachers also have been posted whereas their posting are totally banned.
Asadullah, at serial number 514, Govt Middle School, Chargwal Mowali has been posted to same school– Govt Middle School, Chargwal Mowali. Similarly, Prakriti Sharma at serial number 515 has been transferred from Govt Middle School, Chargwal Mowali to same school. Reeta Devi, at serial number 535, Govt Middle School Banduwala has been posted to same school.
At serial number 169, Sangeet Kumari, Government Primary School Ampbhalla has been posted at Government Middle School New Plot. Both these schools are clubbed in same premises. Similarly, Mridhu Bhashni, at serial number 176, has been posted from Govt Primary School Nai Basti to Govt Middle School Valmiki Basti Gandhi Nagar, in same area.
In 2017, many of the Government Primary School in Jammu were clubbed with the Middle schools because of negligible strength.
However, as the transfer industry in the education department is flourishing, the officials leave no stone unturned to devise new methodology to issue transfers in lieu of hefty amounts. The officials in the Directorate of School Education Department work according to their own rules and regulations. Family members of officials are attached to the lucrative posts and their salaries are drawn from other posts. Such transfers have been made by violating all norms.
Wife of a senior officer in the Directorate, who is new appointee, was posted from a Kathua school to Jammu violating all norms. This is not an isolated case as transfer industry is operating in the Directorate of School Education because money is shared from top to the bottom.
In this transfer list, issued on August 23, many transfers have been made at the distance of zero to one kilometer. Sirranpal Kour at serial number 125, has been posted from Govt Primary School Narwal Pain, Satwari to Middle School Narwal Pain, Satwari; At serial number 134, Vineta Chopra, teachers Govt Middle School Baskhi Nagar to Govt Middle School B C Road; Vinay Rajput, at serial number 137, has been transferred from Govt Primary School Thathrian Jammu to Govt Middle Patoli Mangotrian; At serial number 166, Seema Mahajan has been transfsrred from Govt High School Toph Sherkhnia to Govt Middle School, Patoli Mangotrian;
Two FIRs (24/17) and (25/17) are pending inquiry in Anti Corruption Bureau wherein 1,197 teachers were promoted on fake degrees. Two Directors, among others are already facing charges in the case.
Senior officers of Anti Corruption Bureau say, the Education Department never cooperates in investigations. However, the promotion of 1,197 teachers was withheld pending inquiry. Both these FIRs were registered after media reported the promotion nexus.
Terming the transfer order number 57/CEOJ of 2019 dated August 23, 2019 as Sale of Transfers, the J&K Post Graduate Teachers Association President Naresh Kumar has demanded registration of another FIR against all the officers of Education Department for continuing these corrupt practices where teachers have to pay the bureaucrats and clerks for getting suitable transfers.
Appreciating the decision taken by Advisor to Governor Farooq Khan to hold the controversial transfer list, Naresh Kumar said “We are approaching the court for justice to book all the corrupts behind this transfer list.”
“The ACB must also book all those officers who accorded sanction for this ‘Transfers on Sale’ list,” Kumar said.