The Tribune – Government tweaks rules to appoint PCS officer as PSEB chairman

Passes Bill to accommodate Dhol a week ahead of his retirement

Amaninder Pal, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 24 December 2016. The state government has tweaked rules to appoint an outgoing bureaucrat as Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board Chairman (PSEB) at the fag end of its tenure.

Till a week ago, academicians and scholars having 20 years’ academic and two years’ administrative experience were eligible for the post. To let the bureaucrat, Balbir Singh Dhol, occupy the post, the government passed the Punjab School Education Board (Amendment) Bill, 1969.

Now, it would be for the first time that a PCS officer, about to retire from service in a week, would head the board responsible to draft syllabus and conduct examination of schools affiliated to it.

Incorporating major changes in the rules of appointment, the government made an amendment, whereby an IAS or a PCS officer having administrative experience of 10 years can be appointed to the post.

Besides, the government has also created the post of senior vice-chairman and set the same eligibility criteria. Insiders rue that the new rules will allow more bureaucratic interference in the board’s day-to-day functioning.

“The appointment has come at a time when academic culture in the state is facing a new low. Non-academic culture in educational institutions and schools is growing due to the appointment of bureaucrats at posts meant for academicians,” said a senior education officer, requesting anonymity.

Dhol joined as board chairman this evening. Dhol, who is considered close to top Akali leaders, was serving as Director, Public Instructions (Schools). He also served in the Chandigarh Administration as the State Transport Authority and District Transport Officer, SAS Nagar.

Both Dhol and Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.


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