Education dept marred by frequent transfer of directors

With secretary, education, Hirdesh Kumar likely to be shifted from soon as he will be moving to the Centre, the education policy, especially in the Jammu region, has been marred by consistent premature retirement. In the past 10 months, six officials who held the post of director, school education (Jammu), have been transferred.

The department is being headed by deputy chief minister Tara Chand, who also has the education portfolio.

"Hirdesh Singh is irked with consistent interference in the department. The education minister is not approving of his working style. The secretary has put his case before the chief secretary for his transfer for which minister was also pressing. He is likely to be replaced soon," said a senior bureaucrat, wishing not to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Hirdesh Singh, a 1999-batch IAS officer, was posted here in March. He is reportedly unhappy with consistent shifting of the director, school education, which has severely affected department's working.

He has moved a proposal to the chief secretary to send him on central deputation, which is most likely to be approved. Hirdesh Singh is also unhappy as he was denied the post of divisional commissioner, Jammu. There was a proposal for it but in his place Shantmanu was appointed divisional commissioner.

Shourab Bhagat, a 2002-batch IAS officer, who had joined as director, school education, on September 4 could effectively work for only 10-day period. He tried to streamline the system by resisting to political interference and also suspended teachers for being late to infuse a sense of responsibility.

His predecessor, PK Pole, a 2004-batch IAS officer, also worked on the post from March to September. "Pole had also personally requested the chief secretary to shift him, citing too much political interference," said a senior official.

The director, school education, is in-charge of 90,000 teachers in the Jammu region. He is also responsible for streamlining and effectively running educational schemes besides monitoring the performance of the department.

"How can a system work when not a single director has had even six-month service in the past one year? The system has collapsed and it's reflecting badly on the working of teachers and schools. It's virtually a headless department," said an official.

According to sources, a personal assistant of the education minister -- who had earlier publicly leveled serious allegations against the minister -- is trying to run the department as per his whims and fancies.

Sources said he was finding it tough to work with IAS officers, heading the department, who had clean image.

The question of premature retirement was raised in the last budget session. The finance minister, AR Rather, replying to it had said transfers are made in the interest of administration.

Short stay

1) Dev Lata Sharma was posted in December 2012; worked for two months.
2) Hilal Ahmad Parray was posted in February; worked for a month.
3) AK Pole, posted in March, worked effectively for four months only.
4) For two months, Pole was on leave and in between, first, GA Quershi was posted and then SK Gandora, in his place.
5) Saurab Bhagat was posted on September 4; worked for less than a month.


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