There has been this unpleasant trend in Kashmir of people opting for extension after extension. A state government employee is supposed to retire after he has attained the superannuation at the age of 58 and for the employees of the central government the age of superannuation is kept at 60. In the last two decades, various employees used their contacts in the higher echelons of politics and bureaucracy to gain many extensions after their retirement pushing thousands of educated youth in the tentacles of unemployment and frustration. Though the state government has banned the practice but according to some media reports the trend is going on unabated and blue-eyed officials are given extensions after their services after retirement.
A senior police officer about to reach the age of superannuation in March next year is likely to be given IAS Cadre. The famous case, however, is the extension in the services of the current Jammu and Kashmir bank Chairman who was given a second extension for three years. It is baffling that how come state government be oblivious to its own promise and extends the service of the Jammu and Kashmir bank Chairman.
Not only that but at many places the one man-one post rule has also been violated. In the departments like the Department of Agriculture a single officer has the charge of at least three posts. In academic institutions like the University of Kashmir a man who was the Head of the Department in Biochemistry was also the Proctor of the University. The same official has now kept his post in lean-a procedure by which an employee can put his post in abeyance for a certain period after which he can rejoin it-and jumped over to the central University. Prof. Muhammad Aslam Mir of the Department of English also opted for voluntary retirement just a few months before he would have attained the age of superannuation and joined the Central University as Dean School of languages.
In KU’s Education department Prof. Nazir Nadeem left his job almost seven months ahead of his scheduled retirement and joined CUK as head of the Education Department and Dean Education. Chief Librarian of Kashmir University Riyaz Rufai went for premature retirement in the last year of his service to join Central University of Kashmir on the same post.
The reason why these scholars of repute are joining the Central University of Kashmir is because of the fact that the retirement age at the University is 65 years. For an extension of five years these teachers are opting for voluntary retirements. The irony is that many of their taught are also vying for the posts they have been selected against. Many of these scholars have completed almost thirty years of their tenure as teachers at the University of Kashmir and have earned enough money, fame and respect that a man can attain at the age of sixty. Could not they bow out gracefully and give chance to the younger lot to prove their mettle. What do these scholars want to prove in these five years that they could not do till the age of sixty is beyond one’s intellect? There are hundreds of PHDs waiting to get adjusted in the Central University of Kashmir or for that matter in the University of Kashmir. Scholars with great research background who can prove to be great professors in their respective subjects are waiting for their chance but the senior professors would not allow them the luxury of being teachers at the University.
The same is the case with our state media houses like DD Kashir and Radio Kashmir. At least six Program executives working with DD Kashir have retired recently but are still producing programs for the channel. Same is the case with Radio Kashmir where a good majority of people working as duty Officers are retired employees who have been brought back and given a salary of 29 days. The extension in the services comes at a time when hundreds of Mass communication pass outs are queuing outside these media houses for a platform but denied the same by the DD Kashir authorities.
The retention of blue-eyed officials even after their superannuation not only adds to the frustration of youth of Kashmir – who are rearing to make a name for them and showcase their talent and skills and bring in new ideas – but also sets a wrong precedent for the future which will be quite hard to dislodge.
Our state has been in the perpetual grip of unemployment with the addition of thousands of more employable youth every year only exacerbating the problem. In such a scenario, the government has to take hard steps to ensure that the rules are not flouted and the new blood is infused in the system to prevent the resentment from brewing. And we all are know what happens when the youth manifest their anger on streets.