NPMSA launches pen down strike, demands review of cabinet decision

Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 15 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/15/2019 11:49:35 AM IST

Annoyed by the silence of the State government to address its issue, Nagaland State Planning Machinery Service Association (NSPMSA) announced its first phase of agitation in the form of “pen down strike” from July 16 to 18, after which the association will decide the next phase.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, NSPMSA president Imlikokba Longkumer said the association had submitted representation to the State government demanding removal/expunging the post of OSD (skill development) from the cadre post appearing in schedules I and II of the Nagaland Planning Machinery Service Rule, 2019.

However, he said the government till date had not responded to its representation, adding the association wants a written assurance.

Longkumer said the association members were aggrieved by the decision of the State cabinet as it did not maintain the Gauhati High Court orders of 2013, 2016 and 2017 that mentioned that OSD (SD) and additional development commissioner (ADC) were two separate cadres with different duties and functions and that this was not transferable.

He said the court had ruled that I Sino Phom’s appointment did not affect promotional avenues of the petitioners and that the members did not suffer as the duties and responsibilities was different.

The NSPMSA president alleged that despite the court order, the cabinet during its meeting on September 12, 2017 decided that the post of OSD (SD) would be treated as a regular post in the rank and pay of ADC and included it in the proposed draft service rules of the State planning machinery in planning and coordination department.

The cabinet also decided that Sino would be eligible for promotion to the next level of deputy development commissioner (DDC) and the draft service rules of the State planning machinery would be submitted for consideration of the cabinet at the earliest after incorporating the above by the planning and coordination department, he added.

NSPMSA action committee convener Augustine M Yanthan, who was president, said planning and co-ordination department had four cells – monitoring cell, GIS cell, planning machinery and skill development cell. He demanded to know why the skill development cell had to manage with the same cadre of planning machinery when other cells were functioning independently. He explained that others on deputation, as alleged by Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF), came directly to the department against sanctioned posts in lower ranks as assistant planning officers and planning assistants, adding that OSD (SD) was totally a different cadre.

Moreover, Yanthan commented that it took 32 years for someone to reach the post of DDC whereas, as per the cabinet decision, Sino was made eligible to be promoted as DDC within a span of nine years, which was not at all justified as it deprived others.

He pointed out that as per a Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) advertisement seeking applications for the posts of APO and PA, the qualification criteria was Masters or Bachelors degree in Economics, Statistics, Physics and Mathematics, however Sino did not meet the required qualification as she was serving as assistant professor (Mass Communication) in Nagaland University.

Yanthan said to kick start skill development, OSD (SK) was created in the planning department and Sino was brought in to the department on deputation to look after skill development activities. And when the skill development department took up the programme in 2016, he said OSD (SD) post should also have gone, but he added that Sino did not raise her voice that time for reasons best known to her.

Yanthan said the OSD could be anywhere in the planning department, but her post should not be included in the planning machinery line.

Mentioning that there were members in the association from Eastern Nagaland and who had come through NPSC, Longkumer remarked that they understood the issues better. He claimed that the joint development commissioner was from Eastern Nagaland, along with the in-line would-be head of department. As such, he claimed all members were supporting the association on the issue.

Other NSPMSA office bearers present at the press conference remarked that OSD (SD) was totally non-transferable and the cabinet decision was contempt of court. They clarified that the association was not against any individual or organisation, but wanted the court verdict to be respected.

Claiming that the cabinet decision was in total violation of the court judgment and victimised 56 officials, the association demanded that the cabinet decision be reviewed. Else, they added it would set a bad precedent for the younger generation and also others in department.

They said though they had a preliminary meeting with chief secretary Temjen Toy on the issue, it did not result in any positive outcome.



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