The state government has committed an embarrassing blunder by transferring a senior officer to a junior position, and replacing him with a professor lacking in the relevant qualifications.
The government’s personnel department has posted Technical Education director H U Talawar as director of Distance Education in Bangalore University, a position way below his rank.
The order was issued on Monday by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms undersecretary Geeta L, enforcing the transfer in accordance with the Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules, 1977. The confusion created by the decision is likely to affect the conduct of post-CET counselling and admissions to professional colleges. The order states that B R Niranjan, a civil engineering professor from Bangalore University, would be Technical Education director, while Talawar would head the Directorate of Correspondence Courses and Distance Education.
The university has refused to accept Talawar, saying he is from a polytechnic background, and hence not competent for the job. “I don’t know under what rules they have done this. The Technical Education director cannot be transferred. I cannot go work in a university,” Talawar told Express. “I will move court against this.”
Interestingly, the order refers to Niranjan as the incumbent head of the Directorate of Correspondence and Distance Education, a post he does not hold any more. T D Kemparaju was appointed in his place by the university recently.
Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda said Talawar was not qualified for the position.
“We cannot take him as he was in a polytechnic. We will relieve Niranjan on lien if they want us to. We will write to the government about this. I suppose they will realise the mistake,” he told Express.
The Karnataka Education Department Service (Technical Education Department) Recruitment Rules, 2006, require the Technical Education director to be a Grade-2 principal of an engineering polytechnic or principal of Sri Krishnarajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute or an IAS officer not below selection grade rank.
To be a Grade-2 principal, a person has put in not less than two years in the cadre of a joint director.
Niranjan, a senior professor, does not satisfy any of these criteria, Talawar said.
“The Technical Education director’s post is equal in rank to an additional secretary in the government,” said D N Krishnamurthy, former Technical Education director. “However, a university professor can be appointed to that post through recruitment and not by a transfer.”
Talawar is upset, and is not taking it lying down. “I have been in the Technical Education Department for 26 years and I have moved up the ladder to be appointed director. The rules in this department are different from those in the universities,” he said, blaming the transfer on “vested interests at play.”
The distance education director’s post is one of many ‘cadre-less positions’ occupied by senior professors, an academic explained.