Srinagar Apr 04: The School Education Department has finally appointed a full-time chairperson to the J&K State Board of School Education (JKBOSE).
The department has, in an order issued Tuesday, appointed Secretary BOSE, Veena Pandita as the board Chairperson for a period of two years.
Pandita though already holds the additional charge of Chairperson BOSE.
The BOSE had been without a full-time chairman since August when Zahoor Ahmad Chat was removed from the post.
Post Chat’s exit, the School Education Department had, on August 9 constituted a 5-member ‘Search Committee’ to “suggest names for appointment of Chairman, J&K BOSE”.
The members of the committee comprised of Ex-Secretary BOSE, Bashir Ahmad Dar, Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Secretary, General Administration Department, Secretary, School Education Department and Secretary, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
The committee was supposed to submit the panel of names to the government “within one month”.
However, despite repeated extensions in the term of the ‘Search Committee’ during the last 7 months, no name had come forward for the post of Chairman JKBOSE.
The latest extension in the term of the committee came on February 23 wherein the School Education Department asked the committee to submit its recommendations “by or before February 28”.
Over Pandita’s elevation to the post, Secretary, School Education Department, Farooq Ahmad Shah told The Kashmir Monitor that the Search Committee had “decided that she is the most appropriate person. That is it”.
“The committee found her appropriate. She was number one in merit,” Shah added.
Although Shah put the ‘Search Committee’ at the forefront for Pandita’s appointment, one of the committee members said that a meeting of the committee, which was to be held in Jammu “did not take place at all”.
Interestingly, the member was not aware about Pandita’s appointment.
Reacting to Pandita’s appointment, the member said that the department had ironically objected when he suggested her name for the post earlier.
“I said that you could consider her also, but the bureaucrats objected saying that why don’t we have some KAS or IAS officer,” the committee member said.
“I said that you require an academic person who knows the basics of education to head the board not a bureaucrat,” he added.
Asked whether Pandita had been appointed on the basis of the Search Committee’s recommendations, Secretary, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Majeed Bhat, a committee member said, “We didn’t have the authority to recommend, it is the government’s decision. It is the power of the government to appoint anybody”.
The ‘Search Committee’ Bhat however said, “had meetings in this regard”.