Srinagar 20 February (KNB): President of Jammu and Kashmir College Contractual Teachers Association (JKCCTA) said that the faculty working on Academic arrangement basis have been subjected to the utmost humiliation by the Higher Education Department of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now Union Territory.
Talking to Kashmir News Bureau, JKCCTA President Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Wani highlighted several pending issues of College Contractual Teachers working on academic basis in different colleges of Kashmir division from last 20 years.
He that it is this faculty, who have kept the skeletal of higher education alive from decades.
Dr. Wani said that the faculty are at the verge of loosing their mental balance.
“I’ve been trying to keep 2300 Teachers in a calm state, if let loose, I don’t know what measures they’ll take,” he said.
Furthermore, Dr. Wani said that the Higher Education Department has never paid any attention to address our genuine demand of regularization/Job policy , which is our due right.
While talking about the treatment of the J&K Government in General and Higher Education Department in particular, he gave examples of Civil Services Special Provision Act, 2010.
He said that prior to the passing of this Act, the authorities in 2009 deliberately changed the nomenclature of contractual lecturers to the academic arrangement lecturers just to keep them at bay and digest them from benefits of the Act.
“The exclusion of Academic Arrangements from “Civil Services Special Provision Act, 2010″ aggravated the faculty and after witnessing this humiliation and sensing job insecurity some of faculty members knocked doors of judiciary in 2014 and zero attention of the authorities towards their grievances extended the number to thousands,” Dr. Wani said, adding that after analyzing their petitions High Court of J&K issued Status Quo (interim relief that the position of the petitioner must not be disturbed) till the final disposal of the case.
He said, “The department was going well with the Status Quo of the candidates and was maintaining the position of the petitioners and released their salaries till July 2019,” adding that post July 2019 period has been very tough for the academic arrangement faculty and the present challenge of Covid-19 has added to their miseries.
Dr. Wani said that the High Court form time to time issued directions to the department in order to realize the salaries of the faculty and maintain their status as per the Guidelines 78-HE of 2018 dated 08-02-2018.
“But to our surprise the department never abided by those orders and directions, which highlight the whimsical approach and highhandedness of the Higher Education Department,” he added.
Furthermore, He said that the High Court also asked for an affidavit from the department of Higher Education to confirm their stand towards the court cases.
“In their response the Director Colleges along with all the principals of the Degree Colleges submitted an affidavit mentioning that they have not disturbed the position of the petitioners and are maintain their Status Quo,” Wani said, adding, “But in reality they have made the contempt of the court and have not released the salaries of the faculty and have also disturbed their positions with every passing day.”
He further said that despite working on court orders higher education department left no stone unturned in torturing the academic arrangement faculty.
“whether, it was replacing the candidates though unjustifiable transfers, or mentioning them as surplus,” he added.
Dr. Wani said, “To disturb the position of the petitioners the department issued a notification in 2020 under order no 88-(JK)-HE that too stands stayed by honorable high court,” adding that in this regard, the department has been directed that no other Norms/guidelines will be applicable on the petitioners except that of 78-HE of 2018 dated 08-02-2018.
JKCCTA president said, “As 15-02-2021 is a landmark educational field of the country in general and Kashmir in particular because from this date government of India decided to go for offline classes–after almost one year of the deadliest pandemic–and as the faculty approached the colleges to resume their duties after winter vocations, the principals didn’t allow them to work.”
He said that the principals did not entertain their presence in the colleges and harassed them by mentioning that they have verbal orders from the director Colleges to not allow the contractual faculty to resume their duties and force them to work as guest lecturers, which resulted in the utmost humiliation and harassment of the faculty.
“By doing this Director colleges along with all the principal’s of the colleges of Kashmir Division overreached their authority, violated the orders of the High Court and maligned the image and stature of the judiciary in the eyes of common people,” JKCCTA president said.
He further said that taking undue advantage of SOP’s which in turn resulted in the sheer violation of SOP’s, Kashmir college principals instead of reducing the number of students in the classes to half reduced the number of classes, which clearly manifests the ill and nefarious designs of these monarchs, who are hell bent to ruin the future of this highly qualified faculty and the future of the Kashmiri students.
Furthermore, He added that the department while formulating any new guidelines or anything for the academic arrangement teachers, they have never been taken into the confidence as being the primary stake holders.
JKCCTA further requested Lt Governor Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Lt Governor’s Advisor to Higher Education Rajiv Rai Batnagar, Chief Justice of High Court, to intervene in this matter.
“Director Colleges, Principal are taking undue advantage of the situation (Covid-19) and are traumatizing the highly qualified lot of the society, who are at the verge of losing their mental balance and can take any untoward step,” they told Kashmir News Bureau. (KNB)