Transfers in Animal Husbandry dept. draw flak

Exercise lacks transparency, spoils the chances of officers who have a claim to the posts, says officers’ forum

Exercise lacks transparency, spoils the chances of officers who have a claim to the posts, says officers’ forum

A State Animal Husbandry department decision to transfer 58 officers of the rank of senior veterinary surgeon/assistant director has drawn flak on the grounds that it is arbitrary and in blatant violation of norms.

Through an August 5 order, 45 veterinary surgeons of the department were promoted to the rank of senior veterinary surgeon/assistant director. But an accompanying decision to move out 58 officers of the rank of senior veterinary surgeon/assistant director from their existing posts has attracted controversy.

The Kerala Government Veterinary Officers Association (KGVOA) has demanded that the state government immediately revoke the transfers. According to the KGVOA, the Animal Husbandry department had neither invited applications from the staff nor prepared a draft list. As such, the entire exercise lacked transparency and spoiled the chances of officers who have a legitimate claim to those posts, KGVOA president Dilip Chandran said.

Online database

More importantly, the department is yet to prepare an online database of its staff as required by the State government for carrying out postings and transfers. The present transfer orders also go against an assurance made by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the State Assembly on the subject, according to the KGVOA.

Mr. Vijayan, in a written reply to the House on February 22 this year, had stated that stern directions were in place for carrying out general transfers exclusively through the online mechanism. In October 2021, the Personnel and Administrative Reforms department had issued an order asking all departments to prepare electronic databases of staff and carry out transfers and posting only through it.

‘Promotions due’

“We do not oppose the promotions given to 45 officers as they were due. However, the transfers of the 58 officers have been ordered in violation of prevailing norms, except in one case where it can be justified on medical grounds,” Dr. Chandran said.

Preparing the database is not that Herculean a task as the Animal Husbandry department has only 1,164 veterinary surgeons and 394 senior veterinary surgeon/assistant directors for whom the general transfer applies, according to the association.

In February this year, the KGVOA had petitioned the Minister for Animal Husbandry J. Chinchurani and the Secretary, Animal Husbandry, seeking urgent steps for the creation of the online database.

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