BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Monday said direct recruitment of agriculture engineers will be possible after restructuring of the engineering cadre.
Replying to a calling-attention notice from Nabakishore Das, Rajendra Chatria and Jogesh Kumar Singh, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari said recruitment of agriculture engineers was not possible due to a case pending in the Orissa Administrative Tribunal. Besides, there is restriction on recruitment by the Finance Department.
Replying on behalf of the Chief Minister, Pujari said the last recruitment was made in 1995 with the appointment of 14 junior agriculture engineers (JAE).
In 1997, the post of JAE was re-designated as assistant agriculture engineer (AAE). As a result, 218 JAEs are re-designated as AAEs. As per the recruitment rules prevailing then, the JAEs were promoted to the rank of AAE. The decision to re-designate JAE was challenged by JAEs with diploma in agriculture engineering in the Orissa Administrative Tribunal in 1997.
Prior to re-designation of the JAE post, 50 per cent of the AAE posts was filled by way of promotion of degree agriculture engineers while 25 per cent from diploma agriculture engineering cadre. After re-designation of JAE, the promotion avenue for the diploma JAE was choked. The tribunal disposed of the case on August 25, 2011.
While the case was pending before the tribunal, the agriculture directorate submitted a proposal to the Government for restructuring of the cadre of the agriculture engineers. However, it could not be taken up due to the pending case.
The Minister assured the Assembly that the Government would take a decision on recruitment of agriculture engineers after finding a solution to the legal tangles.
Pujari dismissed allegations that civil and mechanical engineers, graduate agriculture and management degree holders would be appointed to different posts of the Agriculture Department and for management of minor irrigation.