Prof SK BHALLA
The department which otherwise should earn accolades for research and innovation milestones in education is hogging limelight for corruption, nepotism and favouritism.The arrest of a Government Degree College, Pattan, Principal yesterday by ACB red handed in a graft case has brought into fore the massive environment of underhand dealings prospering in the Higher Education Department in Union Territory of J&K.
This is not for the first time that name of HED has been maligned by the unbecoming conduct of a few black sheep, who always shamelessly remained close to the corridors of power despite their foul track record.
Prior to arrest of Principal, Prof. Tariq Ashai by ACB, the then Principals- Prof Hemla Aggarwal, Prof. Nutan Resutra, Prof. Mohd Abdullah Charoo and Prof. Romesh Choudhary in past also brought bad name for the teacher fraternity for their alleged acts of omission and commission.
In addition, a lady teacher of Government College of Education was also arrested red handed in corruption case. But, as a matter of fact, this is not the end of large scale corruption prevailing in the HED on the name of transfers of Principals, Professors as also lower rung functionaries besides the greasing of the palms of a few DDOs of under construction colleges spread across the length and breadth of UT resulting into poor quality infrastructure development for promoting quality education. The case in point is of GDC Jindrah and R.S.Pura.
Even there are reports that HED is sitting silent on a very sensitive matter pertaining to a lady lecturer in the discipline of English whose viral video indicative of moral turpitude has raised eyebrows among the vast body of college teachers. A Lady professor promoting lesbian culture with her student is a cancer in making inside HED and matter of utmost concern. It is learnt that the higher ups in HED are fully aware of the lady professor’s misdeeds but the department has all along been pushing the matter under carpet in a move to shield her.
Not only this, even there are allegations of shuffling of clerical staff by resorting to under hand means and recently a few laboratory assistants/bearers were transferred to non science stream colleges. “Insiders on condition of anonymity confessed that by spending Rs 15,000 anyone from non gazette cadre can manage their posting”. The manner in which non performer college principals with poor track record were recently posted in premier GDCs also points towards hanky-panky in their postings. There are rumblings that incumbent Director Colleges and Special Secretary are calling the shots in HED and the Principal Secretary is a mute spectator to the prevailing mess for reasons best known to him.
Now a days, the teachers of GDCs are well paid to lead a respectable life even after retirement. Considering, such a hefty pay packet alongwith perks, there are no compelling factors for soiling their hands with alleged corrupt practices in purchase exercise, conduct of examinations, construction activities, transfer of clerical staff and commission for purchase of books and laboratory equipments besides indulging in immoral activities. The teachers of HED must introspect and desist from working by comprising their pristine position.
For the overall growth of students, the higher education sector is in infancy stage to implement National Education Policy in J&K UT. The NEP lays thrust on promotion of research and innovation which if continue to be implemented in an unhealthy environment shall prove to be disastrous for students as well as education sector. It is high time that Principal Secretary, HED should put his foot down to stem the rot that has set in before it takes an ugly turn.
(The author of the article is a Retd Principal of HED and a renowned social activist. Views expressed are his own.)