Way J&K UT Government treats Probation Period differently for different Gazetted Services raises Questions

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Government treats Gazetted Medical Services inferior to General Services reflects from Dec-2020 recruitments

Daya Sagar

J&K Government has in December 2020 issued two appointment orders for two different classes of Gazetted services i.e, 1. Services for which only professionally qualified persons can apply i.e Medical Officers 2. General services for which a graduate in any discipline can qualify. Under Government Order No 938- JK(HME) of 2020 Dated 31-12-2020 ( Select list for the post of Medical Officer- Allopathic in the Health and Family Welfare Department – Appointments / Postings thereof 459 Medical Officers have been appointed in Jammu and Kashmir Health and Family Welfare Gazetted Service in pays scale, Level-9, ( 52700-166700 ) with two year probation period in terms of S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 { Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) Fixation of Tenure Rules , 2020 } where under the appointee shall be entitled to the minimum of the pay level of the post to which one is appointed without any regular allowances ( say DA,HRA,CCA,CEA,CSA) and annual increments during the probation period.Before that under Government Order No: 1100 -JK(GAD) of 2020, Dated:09-12-2020 appointment of Junior Scale of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service, J&K Police (Gazetted) Service and J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service under direct recruitment quota ) has made in Level 8 of pay scale ( Rs. 47600-151100) who too have to remain on probation for two years ( The appointees shall be on probation for a period of two years during which they shall undergo such training and pass the Departmental Examination as prescribed under rules) but there is no reference of governing their probation period in terms of S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 { Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) and hence the appointees included in order No: 1100 -JK(GAD) of 2020, Dated:09-12-2020 may be considering their appointment during probation with allowances / increments where as it should not bethere in terms of the new general rules framed in June 2020 for UT of J&K for pay and allowances of probationers.The appointment order appears to be hence technically defective since in case it had to be out side /without application of S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 mention of that should have been made in order.
It has been on 04-01-2021 that vide Order No.05-JK(GAD) of 2021, Dated:04.01.2021 issued by order of the Lt Governor UT of J&K sanction was accorded to the placement of 4 officers 2012 Batch of IAS cadre in the Junior Administrative Grade of IAS (Level 12) with effect from 01.01.2021 even when two of them , Mr. Ravinder Kumar & Dr. Piyush Singla had yet to pass the departmental examination and all the four have yet go for mandatory Phase-III Mid-Career training course which is well within the knowledge of Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs/ Secretary Department of Personnel and Training. Here too questions could be raised on the way the probation period, regularisation and grade promotions are treated differently for different cadres.
And in case the order No-1100-JK( GAD) is withallowances / increments during probation it is unfair since the appointment of Medical Officers too has been made against regular posts/ vacancies required to be filled on priority in greater public interest and which well reflects from the order itself. To be brief the lead paras of Government Order No 938- JK(HME) of 2020 Dated 31-12-2020 ( Select list for the post of Medical Officer- Allopathic in the Health and Family Welfare Department – Appointments / Postings thereof particularly say” Where as taking cognizance of the lack of medical care facilities in the rural / peripheral areas of UT of J&K due to acute shortage of Medical Officers , the Health and Medical Education department worked out a proposal to utilize all the vacancies of Medical officers including those earmarked for Leave, Training & Deputation Reserves by referring the vacancies to the J&K Public Service Commission for selection purpose on the fast track basis in the larger public interest. The order also makes reference of Art-47 of Constitution of India ( Part-IV Directive principles of State Policy), Art-21 and Apex Court decisions like that Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity v/s State of West Bengal, AIR 1996 SC 2426: (1995)6 SCC 213,……” .
Structure of the order for appointment of Medical Officers very clearly shows that the vacancies against which appointments have been made were existing since years, were very much of need for putting in place health care infrastructure in greater public interest and hence the same were to be made good without any more loss of time by making all possible efforts for early appointments and so were placed even in fast track recruitment. The condition of 2 year probation is nothing bad, not even other conditions of service except those of no allowances / increments as contained during probation period as contained in Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) and Fixation of Tenure Rules , 2020 could be said as lacking meaningful wisdom as well as common logic more particularly keeping in view that the government while issuing Government Order No:1100 -JK(GAD) of 2020, Dated:09-12-2020. ( Appointment of candidates to the Junior Scale of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service, J&K Police (Gazetted) Service and J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service under direct recruitment quota ) has made no reference of Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) while these officers too have to remain on probation and even have to pass tests before their probation is removed .
From the text of Government Order No:1100 -JK(GAD) of 2020, Dated:09-12-2020 the appointees may be considering their appointment during probation with allowances / increments where as it should not be. And in case appointment of these officers are outside the Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) and Fixation of Tenure Rules , 2020 then it is totally unfair/not valid since the Jammu and Kashmir Probationer ( Conditions of Service, Pay and Allowances ) and Fixation of Tenure Rules, 2020 if at all have to be bypassed there has to be a speaking order for that ;and that cannot be done simply by General Administration Department though it is mentioned as Government in the S.O 192.If not immediately, questions could be raised even at some later date.
More so when the appointment of even Health Officers which are of immediate / regular / unavoidable nature as also laid in order dated 31-12-2020 could be kept under S.O 192 then the posts that are required in the administrative departments / accounts sections are surely not that compelling for keeping outside S.O 192 0f 17-06- 2020, and that too in case government is cutting wages during probation period due to financial constraints. No doubt the KAS and like vacancies can also come as regular need based jobs required for delivery of public services but cannot override the needs for deficient health services where there are financial constraints. Vacancies like that of Medical Officers are required to be filled on regular basis every year in view of retirements / or increased arena of delivery of public services in health sector to common masses. More so the services that are expected to stay on regular basis cannot be treated differently like has been done in the two different orders quoted here and even if there are financial constraints the appointment of Medical Officers should get overriding priority also well reflects from the text of G.O No 938- JK(HME) of 2020 Dated 31-12-2020 r for recruitment of Medical Officers against existing regular substantive posts / vacancies when compared with G.O. No:1100-JK(GAD) of 2020 of 09-12-2020( for JKAS,JKPS,JK Accounts).
So Government of UT of J&K must either take out the appointments of Medical Officers out of the Scope of S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 as regards the allowances and increments are concerned or should also bring the appointments made under Government Order No: llOO-JK(GAD) of 2020, Dated: 09-12-2020 within the scope of S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 as far as the provision of no allowances and increments during probation period is concerned.
LG Manoj Sinha has been promising of good governance from day one itself so it is expected that he will take all possible steps/ actions at his level for undoing such discriminations in service matter existing locally as well as where the action is required at the level of Government of India.
(Daya Sagar : Senior Journalist, Social Activist, Analyst J&K Affairs
can be reached at [email protected])

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