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Jammu based gazetted officers allege favouritism in promotions

Last Updated on May 31, 2021 at 5:37 pm

The gazette officers of Department of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare (AP&FW), who are based in Jammu have alleged that favouritism has been done in promotions of Chief Agriculture Officers or equivalent.

They alleged that Jammu based officers seniority was not taken into notice and officers of Kashmir division were prioritized.

The 1998 directly recruited gazetted Agriculture officers have given representation to the Lieutenant Governor claiming that the preference has been given to the non-gazetted officers, who were not even eligible for the posts. 

As per reports officers said that the seniority list of 1998 batch out of fifteen officers only four are from Kashmir division whereas eleven are from Jammu division. To the utter surprise, from the seniority list all the officers from Jammu division have been avoided while two officials have been preferred who were on serial number second and eleven.

Due to the department’s alleged selective approach towards the selection of officers and ignoring Jammu based officers and giving preference to Kashmir based officers have created grudges among them.

As per official figures, fifteen posts of Chief Agriculture Officers (CAOs) or equivalents were vacant across Jammu and Kashmir but the department is not promoting Jammu based officers due to reasons not known. Out of the first 10 officers in the list only one is from Kashmir division but none of the officers is from Jammu division.

The fifteen vacant posts are Chief Agriculture officer Budgam, Dy. Director Law Enforcement Kashmir, Dy. Director Command Area Development Kashmir, Pathologist Kashmir, Agrostologist Kashmir, Director Rakhs and Farms Kashmir, Floriculture Development Officer Kashmir, Divisional Soil Survey Officer Kashmir, Mushroom Specialist Kashmir, Senior Scientist Mushroom Kashmir

Whereas in Jammu division five vacant posts are Divisional Soil Survey Officer Jammu, Regional SMS Jammu, Agriculture Chemist Jammu, Agriculture Economist Jammu and Project Officer Dryland Jammu. 

The officials said that all these posts are gazetted posts, while method for filling of these posts vide govt order No.180 Agri of 2017 dated 18/7/2017 which reads, “Class VII is the Foundation stone of Gazetted Service and in case, any officer who is not a member of Gazetted Service, he is not entitled to hold the higher posts in gazetted service” 

At present the officers of 1998 batch are the eligible candidates to man these posts while some promoted officials of non-gazetted cadre have been trying their best to grab these posts.

“Some of non-gazetted officials (promoters) have been placed in stop gap arrangements as I/c AEOs. They have been given the benefit of time bound promotion,” they said. 

The Jammu based officials alleged a deliberate attempt is being made to keep Jammu based eligible officers away from the vacant posts. 

The officials have sought the intervention of Lieutenant Governor as well as Chief Secretary in the matter to stop the alleged discrimination with them.