SKUAST under Dock: CAG Blows the Whistle on Massive Appointment Irregularities


SRINAGAR, Mar 29: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has exposed large scale discrepancies in appointment of teachers and non-teaching staff by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu as well as Kashmir.

“Compliance audit was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of Human resource management in the Agriculture Universities of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Audit found deficiencies in manpower planning, appointments, career advancements and entitlements,” the CAG said in a latest report. “The Universities violated UGC norms for direct appointment of teachers and filled these posts through lateral entry,” it said, adding, “The mandatory criteria for appointment and career advancement of teachers was diluted.” Premature promotions, inadmissible benefit of Career Advancement Scheme, incorrect pay fixations, inadmissible allowances and entitlements, resulted in extra financial burden to the Government exchequer, it said.

It said a Compliance audit on human resources management covering the period 2016-17 to 2020-21 was conducted to assess whether the Agriculture Universities had complied with guidelines of University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and Statutes of the Agriculture Universities regarding recruitment of employees, in service career advancements, pension payments and entitlements.

“The audit covering the period 2016-17 to 2020-21 was conducted between August 2021 and February 2022, by a test check of records at the offices of Registrar, deans of various faculties and Comptroller of SKUAST-J and SKUAST-K,” it said, adding, “Service records of 7391 personnel (30 per cent) of the total persons-in-position (2,4622), as on March 2021, were selected on the basis of simple random sampling without replacement, for detailed scrutiny.”

In SKUAST-J, it said, the shortfall ranged between 26 and 33 per cent under the teaching category and 19 and 26 per cent under the non-teaching category during the period. “Similarly, shortage of manpower in SKUAST-K ranged between 22 and 33 per cent under the teaching category and 29 and 32 per cent under the non-teaching category during 2016-21.”

While SKUAST-J made only seven appointments in respect of teaching cadre and 59 for non-teaching cadre, the CAG said, SKUAST-K made 173 and 193 appointments in teaching and non-teaching cadres respectively during the period 2016-21.

“Test check of service records of 180 out of 593 posts in SKUAST-J showed that 20 sanctioned posts of senior/ junior scientists, senior technical assistants, assistant registrars, stenographers etc. were re-designated (between April 1993 and 2017) to deputy/ assistant registrar, assistant professor, works supervisor, junior physiotherapist etc., without approval of Finance Department,” it said, adding, “Additionally, appointments to five non-teaching positions had been made against non-existent posts.”

These five incumbents were subsequently accommodated either by re-designating or converting other vacant posts, carrying different or similar pay scales with different criteria for appointments, it said. Similarly, in 377 out of 1,201 posts in SKUAST-K, the CAG said, three posts one each of Assistant

Professor, Field Cum Laboratory Assistant and Urdu typist were re-designated (between December 2003 and March 2017) as Medical Officer, Medical Assistant and Artist cum photographer respectively without approval of Finance Department. “The post of Urdu typist was utilised to retrospectively (July 2003) accommodate one Artist cum Photographer and the other two posts remained vacant (March 2021) resulting in unnecessary conversion of these posts.”

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