72 in-charge Lecturers reverted to Master/Teacher status after School Education Department order

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU :  Stating that the degrees obtained through distance mode in Science Stream (Environmental Science/Ecology and Environment) cannot be considered valid for the purposes of seniority and promotion, the School Education Department has ordered withdrawal of placements of 72 in-charge Lecturers back to the Masters/Teachers’ grade in the discipline of Environmental Science who have obtained Post-Graduate Degrees through the distance mode.

The order issued by the Principal Secretary, School Education Department has mentioned that the degree obtained by the in-service candidate without obtaining proper permission from the competent authority cannot be reckoned valid particularly for the purposes of seniority and promotion.

The in-charge Lecturers were reverted back to their substantive posts after it was revealed in the investigations that their distance mode post-graduation is not at par with the Universities of Jammu and Kashmir. They had been elevated as in-charge Lecturers and posted at various higher secondary schools in 2019 on the basis of their Master’s Degrees in Ecology and Environment Studies which they had acquired through distance mode from various universities outside J&K.

The universities include Bharathiar University of Coimbatore, MS University Tamil Nadu, Sikkim Manipal University, Kuvempu University, Vmus Tamil Nadu, Global Open University, Indian Institute of Ecology, MakhanLal Chaturvedi Bhopal, Vinayaka Mission University, MCRVBD, Bhopal, BRA Hyderabad, and VMRF Saleem.

These 72 Teachers/Masters were elevated under different government orders on July 15, 2019, July 25, 2019, May 12, 2022, and October 16, 2019. The order also mentioned the details of the verification process initiated by the Directorates of Education at Srinagar and Jammu respectively. Both the directorates have not upheld their degrees as required for their status.   Further, the University of Jammu (JU) and the University of Kashmir (KU) too have not accepted the degrees and insisted that the courses they teach are Science which requires laboratory exposure. The varsities said they accept only the IGNOU and MANU courses in distance mode for the particular subject.

“The University in this regard has categorically communicated the decision regarding the distance mode degree from time to time and in the latest communiqué No FSPAIDANKU/2010 Dated March 10, 2013 from Dean Academics Affairs office, Wherein it has been resolved by the high level committee that candidates holding Master’s Degree in Science subjects awarded through the distance mode from other universities are neither eligible for appointment as lecturers in the Higher Education Department/ +2 level nor for admissions to the M.Phil / Ph.D. programme as the laboratory component which forms an indispensable part of the curriculum and requires a continuous guidance for the whole period of 4 semesters, is not given its due importance in the distance mode learning.

Hence in light of the above mentioned facts, it is clearly evident from the records and rules that the distance mode degree of PG in Ecology and Environment is neither recognised by the University nor equivalent to the corresponding P.G. Degree of Environmental Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar”, the order said.

“Therefore based upon the above observations, degrees obtained through Distance Mode in Science Stream (Environmental Science/Ecology and Environment) cannot be considered valid for the purposes of seniority and promotion. Besides, in view of the above settled legal position, the degree obtained by the in-service candidate without obtaining proper permission from the competent authority cannot be reckoned valid particularly for the purposes of seniority and promotion.

The incumbents are reverted back to their substantive posts and shall continue to be posted at the same place of posting against the available substantive post of Teacher/Master”, School Education Department Order reads.