In KSOU, plumber becomes engineer

In KSOU, plumber becomes engineer

In November, 2012, the water supply operator (WSO)/plumber of the Karnataka State Open University, places a request before the varsity for a promotion to the post of Junior Engineer. Pronto, his wish was granted.

Documents available with Deccan Herald show that KSOU, just to accommodate the plumber’s request, went as far as amending its own statute.

KSOU amended the Cadre and Recruitment rules of the posts of assistant executive engineer (AEE), assistant engineer (AE) and junior engineer (JE) prescribed in Statute 25, and sent it for Chancellor’s assent, on November 21, 2012 (former -VC K S Rangappa’s tenure ending period), without bringing it to the knowledge of the State government.

The Board meeting held on November 21, 2012, resolved to make amendments to the method of recruitment to the post of JE (Civil) to accommodate promotion from the lower cadre of WSO in the varsity, because Sadashiva had requested for a “promotion opportunity.”

“The WSO has requested the varsity to provide him opportunity to get promoted to the post of JE. It is true that WSO does not have promotion avenue in his services. Therefore, it is proposed to make provision in the Statutes in respect to the post of JE,” the board resolved.

The amended statute is now called, ‘The KSOU (Cadre and Recruitment of the posts of AEE, AE and Junior Engineer)(Amendment) Statutes, 2012)’. But, even before the Chancellor gave his approval to the amendment, Sadashiva was promoted as JE on December 5, 2012. His salary was increased from Rs 17,650 to Rs 32,000, plus allowances.

The Chancellor gave assent to the same on January 30, 2013. Sadashiva is SSLC pass and holds a National Trade Certificate (NTC). A JE should at least hold a diploma.
Likewise, S A Shashikumar, who too holds SSLC and NTC, was promoted as AE (Electrical), for which the Statute was amended on March 27, 2012, and sent for Chancellor’s assent, without the knowledge of the State government. Shashikumar was promoted on November 24, 2012.

Wrong deputation

On September 2, 2010, Anil Kumar, Deputy Manager, KSFC, Bangalore was taken on deputation by the KSOU as ‘in-charge of Engineering department and Constructions’.
As per Statute 25, KSOU can appoint AEE on deputation only from the Public Works department (PWD). Kumar who has been deputed from KSFC is presently in-charge of the Rs 150-crore odd construction project going on in the varsity.

A mechanical engineer, he has been entrusted with civil engineering work. He draws a basic salary of an Assistant Registrar scale (between Rs 28,100 and Rs 50,100) plus allowances. KSOU continues to avail the services of Kumar, despite appointing its in-house employee Bhaskar R as AEE on November 27, 2012.

P B Prabhu, a retired employee (SSLC pass) was appointed as ‘Consultant (Service Matter)’ on May 9, 2011,  with retrospective effect from February 1, 2011.

The post requires for the official to handle legal and service matters, creation of posts, statutes, and departmental enquiries. The varsity already had three in-house advocates. On July 28, 2011, KSOU increased his remuneration from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. The very next year, on August 8, 2012, his remuneration was hiked to Rs 15,000. In February, he was appointed as consultant, University of Mysore (UoM).

KSOU flouted the age criteria and appointed Appaji Gowda, 50 years, as ‘consultant-estate officer,’ on contract basis (six months) without giving any publicity.

He wasn’t even interviewed. The candidate should be an engineering or law graduate. He is neither.

He holds BSc, BEd, MA, MEd degrees. The post exists. But no C&R rules have been framed. On October 19, 2011, KSOU, which continued to extend his service, changed the nomenclature of his post to ‘Estate Officer’. Gowda’s is a non-teaching post. Interestingly, in 2011-12, KSOU starts the Anthropology department.

On December 5, 2012, Gowda is appointed as assistant professor and the head of the Anthropology department.

Norms misused

Like this, the Open University misused the Statute 2(9)(3), the general recruitment statutes, 2004, and age norms, with regard to many such appointments. Some of them are -- B K Jagadish (personal secretary to VC -- he is presently special officer in UoM); K T Appaji Gowda, garden supervisor; Sathyanarayan Gowda, coordinator, Competitive Examination Training Center; and internal auditors -- R B Chikkathimmaiah and Sheshachalamswamy.

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