Srinagar: Three candidates who do not have the requisite experience have been appointed as Information Education and Communication (IEC) consultants under the centrally sponsored MGNREGA scheme by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department, Kashmir region.
Sunain Shafi, son of Mohammad Shafi Dar resident of Nowpora Srinagar, has been selected as state-level IEC consultant with a consolidated monthly salary of Rs 36,000. Faiqa Tabasum Masoodi, daughter of Bashir Ahmad Masoodi resident of Shultoo Rafiabad Rohama Baramullah, and Ashaq Hussain Drengy, son of Mohammad Akber Drengy resident of Brinty Batapora Dailgam Anantnag, have also been appointed as IEC consultants against a consolidated monthly remuneration of Rs 25,000 each.
The trio has no or little working experience against the criteria set by the department in its advertisement notice (1&2 of 2015). The posts required an aspirant to “have 3-4 years of experience in print and electronic media along with knowledge of publication of newsletters, magazines and journals”.
Sunain’s academic record shows he completed his mass communication and journalism degree in March 2015 from KU’s MERC department. As a part of his master’s degree, he interned with a local daily for around a month. Similarly, Ashaq, who completed his masters in mass communication and journalism from IUST Awantipora in 2011, did not join any newspaper or electronic media. “He has no experience in journalism and was doing some research outside the state,” said one of his former batchmates Also, Faiqa, a 2012 pass-out of KUs MERC department did work for a few months as an intern with a local daily, but discontinued that later.
However, Minister of Rural development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq Khan said the three have submitted requisite experience certificates and the selection was based on merit. “But in case the documents turn to be fake, we will cancel their appointments,” Khan told Kashmir Reader.
Interestingly, aspirants armed with mass communication and journalism degrees, apart from degrees from foreign universities and with 5-7 years experience, had applied for the post. The candidates had to appear before a four-member interview panel led by Director Rural development and Panchayati Raj Department Tasaduq Jeelani on September 16 and 17.