Tension is simmering in the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) over the issue of diploma holder engineers getting preference over degree holder engineers.
Degree holder engineers allege that the important posts of executive engineers, who head any project execution team, are being filled with diploma holder engineers by ignoring their qualification and claim.
“Due to shortage of degree holder engineers, a provision was made in the recruitment rules to allow promotion of diploma holder engineers with outstanding ability and record to the post of executive engineer. In 1996, new recruitment rules were framed wherein the quota of diploma holders was made equal to that of degree holders for promotion to the post of executive engineer. But the department of personnel and training (DoPT) guidelines mandate a review in the rules after every five years, which has not been done for 16 years,” said a degree holder engineer, on the condition of anonymity.
The process to review the recruitment rules for the post of executive engineer is on at the moment in the CPWD.
“But the review has not taken place till now due to pressure from certain lobbies,” said another degree holder engineer.
Now, in many units the executive engineer is a diploma holder and his assistant engineers and junior engineers are graduates and post-graduates. At the moment, the CPWD has around 800 degree holder assistant engineers who also have experience.
Besides, the Supreme Court has also settled that regular service of any assistant engineer in degree quota will be counted only after he/she acquires the degree in engineering.
The recruitment rules say that besides a degree in engineering, a service of eight years will be taken into consideration for promotion to the post of executive engineer. In cases of diploma engineers, the length of service should be 10 years.
“But the department has been considering an assistant engineer for promotion to the post of executive engineer even before completion of mandated eight year service if he or she acquires degree,” said a frustrated degree holder engineer working with the CPWD.
According to sources, any executive engineer is engineering, administrative and financial in charge his unit.
It is a very crucial post. He is called drawing and disbursement officer (DDO) which is a sensitive assignment. The executive engineer signs contracts on behalf of the government. A small mistake on his part can lead to a loss to the government exchequer.
“It is imperative that only qualified persons should be promoted as executive engineers,” said an official.