GUWAHATI, March 7 - A very ominous development has taken place in the State of employing in the development departments those people, who are obtaining engineering degrees through distance education. These people have obtained their engineering degrees allegedly without doing any practical classes and the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have denounced all such degrees. The departments in which such 'graduate engineers� are getting employment are � the Public Works Department (PWD), Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and the Irrigation Department.
The Federation of Engineering Services Associations of Assam has demanded a clear-cut policy from the State Government to bring an end to all such nefarious activities like �obtaining� a technical degree through distance education mode.
Office bearers of the Federation of Engineering Services Associations of Assam, which is the umbrella organisation of the Assam Public Health Engineers� Association, Assam PWD Engineers' Service Association and the Assam Engineering Services Association, told this newspaper that this worrying development first started in the PHED in 2013 with the promotion of three junior (diploma) engineers, who obtained their bachelor of engineering degrees through such a distance education mode, to the posts of assistant engineers.
Strangely enough, the Federation office bearers said, those three candidates were promoted with retrospective effect from 2006, thus superseding the assistant engineers, who were appointed in the Department in 2008. A court case is pending in this regard.
This was followed by the incident of promotion of 27 junior engineers to the posts of assistant engineers in the PWD in 2015.
Now, there is an attempt at promoting a group of 16 such junior engineers to the posts of assistant engineers in the PWD, said the Federation office-bearers.
A move is there by certain quarters to promote more such junior engineers, who have obtained their bachelor of engineering degrees through the distance education mode in the development departments of the State. In this respect, the office bearers of the Federation said that a list of 133 engineering candidates was prepared by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) during the chairmanship of Rakesh Paul, to appoint them in the Irrigation Department. Of them, eight obtained their bachelor degrees through distance education mode. But the then APSC chairman did not pay any heed to the objections raised by the engineering services associations in this regard.
The Assam Engineering Services Association has by this time placed the list before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with a request to review the entire matter, said the Federation office bearers.