They managed ‘superhuman’ feats for promotions

Marks card and certificates of at least 27 ASOs awaiting promotion now being treated as suspicious

It may be physically impossible for a person to be present at two places at one time, but some Assistant Statistical Officers (ASOs) have claimed to have achieved this superhuman feat to get promotions.

Sample this: an ASO, working at the Directorate of Economics and Statistics on a given day, has claimed to have successfully written undergraduate examination in Tamil Nadu on that day. Similarly, at least 10 other ASOs were actually working in their respective offices, yet they claimed to have written examinations in various universities in India on the same day.

In another case, an ASO wrote the degree examination in December 2017 and received his marks card the same month. But, he has also shown the admission ticket for the examination that is dated January 2018. Another ASO’s confirmation report shows his educational qualification as PUC in 2015, B.Com. in 2016, and finally B.A. in 2017.

All these and many other cases are now under scrutiny as it is learnt that the directorate has sought the genuineness of the marks card and certificates from the universities, and in some cases genuineness of the universities themselves. Directorate sources said the marks cards and certificates of at least 27 ASOs awaiting promotion to the posts of Additional Director are now being treated as suspicious after senior officials flagged them during the departmental promotion committee (DPC) meeting in October 2019. A total of 127 ASOs were eligible for promotion for which the DPC was formed. The promotion is currently withheld. Many of the ASOs are close to superannuation.

Changed rules

Sources said that many of the ASOs, who did not have “prescribed qualification” as per the changed cadre and recruitment (C&R) rules of 2010, have resorted to this practice despite having postgraduate degrees and a couple even doctoral degree.

“The rules were changed in 2010, prescribing that only those who have studied any one of the subjects among the four prescribed — Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, and Computer Science — in undergraduate course would be eligible for promotion,” sources explained. When they became eligible for promotion, the rules came in the way, sources said. “While they are guilty of providing false information, the rules made without application of mind triggered it. In any case, changes in the rules are not notified regularly and employees may not know. Work experience and any degree would have helped,” he added.

A department official said that certificate verification should have been done before the DPC meeting, but it was taken up after that, and that too after complaints were raised. “By rule, all verifications are a must before the DPC.” Meanwhile, with the educational qualification matter reaching Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, he has directed DPAR officials to consider reviewing the C&R rules of 2010.

The Director of Economics and Statistics, Vasundhara Devi, did not respond to calls.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 4:02:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/they-managed-superhuman-feats-for-promotions/article30926117.ece

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