Matriculate officers to ‘implement’ digitization process in FCSCA

Srinagar: At a time J&K Government is going for digitization of public distribution system, the majority of the top officers in Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) department have 10th as the highest educational qualification.

Official records accessed by ‘Kashmir Vision’ reveal that out of 17 Assistant Directors in the FCSCA department in Kashmir 13 have highest educational qualification as 10th pass.

The 29 inspectors and 187 out of 189 Tehsil Supply Officers (TSOs) of the FCSCA department in Kashmir, who are a step below in grade of the ADs, have 10th as their educational qualification.

“If the TSOs and Inspector are given reading and writing comprehension test, not even 10 percent will pass. And how are they expected to use computers for the online allocation of food supplies,” said an official in the FCSCA department.

Officials say the top positions occupied by the 10th pass officers have hampered the promotional avenues of highly educated employees posted at lower positions in the department.

Even for the post of an assistant storekeeper, the government has kept minimum qualification as graduation while as for higher ranks like Inspector and TSO the required education qualification of a candidate is only 10 2.

The State Government has been appointing hundreds of Assistant Store Keepers (ASKs) since 2008 through Service Selection Board, with minimum qualification as graduation.

However, the Assistant Store Keeper has to work as a subordinate of the TSO and even Inspector, who mostly have education qualification of 12th or 10th class pass respectively.

Even most of these ASKs are having post graduation or higher educational qualifications.

Officials said the Inspector and TSO draw a monthly salary of over Rs 60,000 while as an assistant storekeeper draws a monthly salary of less than Rs 20,000.

Having these ill-educated officers at the helm of affairs in the department, the fate of recently started digitization of the PDS by the department is anybody’s guess, said an insider.

J&K Government on November 22 started electronic public distribution system (ePDS) in the state, with ‘transparency’ as a benchmark of the initiative.

“Digitization of PDS is aimed to make it more transparent, accountable and pilferage proof. Was glad to see a live demonstration of e-PDS (POS) in my office today,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted last week.



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