Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Scientists working with the Central Ground Water Board have demanded immediate implementation of a judgment of the Supreme Court directing the Union Government to extend the benefit of flexible complementing scheme (FCS) of promotions to Group ‘B' officers, saying they were facing stagnation for the past 20 years.

The Supreme Court had on August 31, 2009, dismissed a special leave petition of the Union Government against a judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Union of India vs. V. Sambasiva Rao and Others and ordered extension of benefit of FCS to the scientific officers recruited from 1986 till the issue of the Personnel Ministry's modified guidelines on November 9, 1998.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources invited a total of 129 officers for interviews in the third week of April but gave them only ad hoc and in situ promotions in the results declared earlier this month, which the CGWB Officers' Association has described as a negation of their right for FCS. Association general secretary M. Nasir Khan said here on Saturday that the Union Ministry was not paying any attention to restructuring of the scientific cadre, modification of recruitment rules and making provisions for timely promotions. “The full strength of deserving candidates was not called for interviews and there was no expert from the Union Public Service Commission in the board,” he said.

The CGWB refusal to give promotions in time has led to “unnecessary litigation” consuming the time and energy of scientists and diverting their attention from regular research work, according to the Association. The Board will not be able to play its crucial role in protecting ground water with the unrest rampant among its scientists and engineers over the lack of promotion avenues.

Most of the Group ‘B' scientific officers in the Board, recruited through the UPSC, possess post-graduate and research qualifications. As the mainstay of the organisation and doing the entire field work, they fulfil the basic conditions for inclusion in the FCS. Dr. Khan, a senior hydro-geologist at the CGWB Regional Office for Rajasthan here, said a large number of ground water scientists were quitting their jobs because of the Board's “bureaucratic apathy”.