JAMMU: Facing adverse criticism for the last several years over rampant nepotism and favoritism in transfer of Degree College Principals, the Higher Education Department (HED) has signaled initiation of “Operation Clean-up” and extensive transformation in its working with the posting of new Special Secretary Ravi Shankar Sharma.
Reforms introduced in functioning of School Education Department (SED) by Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, SED, who is also holding additional charge of HED is talk of the town for eradicating corruption and nepotism by ensuring transparency in new transfer policy in SED, avers a faculty member of Government Women College, Parade.
The HED deserves the same attention at par with SED reforms as the deterioration in functioning of GDCs has stooped to an undesirable level for the last few years. There are allegations of ignoring seniority, experience, merit in posting of principals resulting in unacceptable decline in functioning of several GDCs, alleged an officer of HED on condition of anonymity.
Worthwhile to mention here that there is massive resentment prevailing among principals over repeated reshuffling of blue eyed principals namely Ravinder Tickoo, Khurshid Ahmad Khan, BA Rathar, Sheikh Aijaz Bashir and Ghulam Jelani Qureshi Surinder Sharma, Nazir Ahmad, Mohd Amin Malik, GM Lone and Nilofar Bhat from one GDC to other within soft zones.
Similarly, the recent posting of Twinkle Suri as Principal GDC, Samba has also evoked strong criticism from the rank and file of HED.
Referring to transfer order No 106-JK (HE) of 2023 dated 26/04/2023, one professor said “While Geetanjali Andotra a comparatively senior to Twinkle Suri has been shifted to GDC, Ramgarh in border area whereas, Twinkle Suri who earned distinction for remaining posted in Jammu city since her induction in HED has been again favored with a kitchen posting.”
The incumbent Principal Secretary has brought a revolutionary change in functioning of SED and if the authorities are seriously contemplating to replicate the SED model in HED, then it is imperative to first ensure transparency in postings of Principals strictly in accordance with seniority, efficiency and merit so as to end ‘Pashmina shawl’ gift culture for ensuring research and innovation in GDCs through effective implementation of National Education Policy, asserted one Principal posted in GDC Kathua..
“Barbie dolls and yes-men must be replaced with visionary, research oriented and efficient Principals to convert institutions into centres of excellence and research work for the betterment of society and nation rather than a den of politics and back biting”, said a serving GDC Principal, adding “Postings of non PhD principals in prime colleges is a fatal blow to overall growth of colleges”.
Interacting with JK Global News scores of Principals of Kashmir region said “Before according approval to proposals for postings of principals, the authorities must ascertain parameters like tenure of services in soft zones, very hard zones and hard zones since first appointment, research work and visible contribution in college development instead of paper certificates”.
We urge the Principal Secretary, HED to dismantle the transfer mafia which is operating clandestinely within the department and promising certain principals with choicest posting, they further said .
Owing to the aforesaid massive descent by way of pick and choose transfer policy, the prime degree colleges in Srinagar as well as Jammu city have undergone degradation which is evident from downgrading in their NAAC ranking. The glaring examples of this disaster are GGM Science College as well as GCW, Gandhi Nagar.
Now, the new team which has undertaken reforms in SED and now in command of HED too are expected to come upto the expectations of aggrieved principals and review the repeated soft zone postings of Principals vide order No 90-JK (HE) of 2023 dated 3/4/2023 and order No 106-JK (HE) of 2023 dated 26/04/2023 and Order No 270-JK (HE) of 2022 dated 21/12/2022. Even, the future posting of Sindhu Kapoor is an enigma in itelf.