How To Challenge Decision Of External Screening Board Of DST
We are from an autonomous Institute (located in a complex hilly region) under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India. At our institute, the promotion of Group A Scientists and Engineers are done through Modified Flexible Complementin... Read More
We are from an autonomous Institute (located in a complex hilly region) under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India. At our institute, the promotion of Group A Scientists and Engineers are done through Modified Flexible Complementing Scheme (MFCS) which was introduced by the DoPT vide Circular No. AB-14017/37/2008-Estt (RR) dated 10 Sep 2010. Under this scheme, the Scientists and Engineers have to go through two levels of assessment for promotion from one rank to others. The first one is Internal Screening where the ACR/APARs of the Scientists and Engineers who completes their minimum residency period gets reviewed and based on that the recommendation for the External Screening is made, which is the second level of Screening. The External Screening Board (ESB) is constituted by the Appointing Authority and is composed of the member’s external from the institute. The ESB during assessment takes into consideration the Work & Self Appraisal reports, the reports from the Internal Screening Committee, and the recommendations from national and/or international experts. In front of the ESB, the candidate (Scientist/Engineer) have to present their work (ppt presentation) they carry-out during their residency period and have to answer the questions asked by the ESB members. The ESB prepares about a page summary report, the specific content of the work done justifying the merit for consideration of promotion of the candidate. The recommendation of the ESB is then placed before the appointing authority for approval and orders regarding promotion get issued accordingly.
There were 7 employees who called for assessment by the ESB members on 23 Dec 2019. The breakups of all the 7 employees (here designated as M, N, P, Q, R, S, and T for easy understanding):
a) M and N - called for assessment for promotion from Engineer-C to Engineer-D after completion of their Minimum Residency Period (4 years) plus 6 months delay.
b) P, Q and R - called for assessment for promotion from Engineer-D to Engineer-E. In this candidate, P was called after completion of their Minimum Residency Period (4 years) plus 6 months delay, while Q and R were called just after the completion of their Minimum Residency Period.
c) S - called for assessment for promotion from Scientist-D to Scientist-E just after the completion of his Minimum Residency Period (4 years).
d) T - called for assessment for promotion from Scientist-E to Scientist-F after completion of his Minimum Residency Period (5 years) plus 6 months delay.
The ESB panel comprises of 8 external members, our institute Director (who newly joined 7 days back) and one Scientist-F from our institute whose role was to brief about the works carried out by the candidates during their residency period.
All the candidates were reviewed by the ESB board members on the same day and the outcome are as follows:
(1) M and N granted promotion w.e.f 1 Jan 2020.
(2) P (past Director's own brother) granted promotion w.e.f 1 July 2020
(3) T (nephew of present Institute's Governing Council chairman) granted promotion w.e.f 1 Jan 2020.
(4) Q, R, and S were deferred from promotion in the year 2020.
ESB has done injustice with Q, R, and S. The strong points with Q, R, and S are as follows:
(1) The ESB members, including the new Director and the called Scientist-F who conducted the interview, do not have any expert from the field of their specialization and, therefore, the performance in the interview for Q, R and S had not to be communicated properly (by the Scientist-F of the institute) and assessed by the board properly.
(2) In the past, the same ESB had assessed the performance of 8 Scientists and Engineers-D to E but they had never deferred any candidates so far, and even this has happened first time in the Institute's history.
(3) The newly joined Director has come from an institution (located in a metropolitan city) where the Scientists and Engineers-D usually gets promotion not less than 5 years, and he is strongly holding an impression that the post Scientist/Engineer-E is equivalent to Associate Professor post for which at least 5 years’ service in the lower grade should be there. So he might have tried to impose his own viewpoint and influenced the committee to do the same. This is because the same ESB had reviewed earlier in the past and had never deferred any case, and this time the only change in the panel was the inclusion of this new Director. Also if one can clearly see the ESB views while making an assessment of P, Q, R and S. Since P had already crossed 4 years 6 months when called for Assessment so the ESB had granted him 6 month delay, hence overall he will be promoted to Scientist/Engineer-E at 5 years. On the other side since for Q, R and S they had just completed the Minimum residency period (four years) so the ESB members would have thought that let them defer from promotion at this stage and will call them afresh next year when they complete 5 years on their present post.
(4) The strong point with Q was that he got consistently excellent grading in his ACRs and he was deeply involved in the jobs assigned to him, with R the strong point was that he was awarded PhD on-job (without any sort of study leave) with very good publications and performed all the duties assigned to him, and with S the strongest point was that he was having 30+ research publications. On the other hand, the candidate T who offered promotion was hardly having more than 2 research publications. And candidate P was not having even a single publication. All these clearly reflects that the performance, qualification and competency of candidates Q, R and S were overlooked by the ESB members and illegally deferred their case of promotion.
Seeking legal opinion on how Q, R and S challenge the decision of ESB or what they do next.
- Sector-1, Noida
You can consult a good employment lawyer in India for such matter as the lawyer needs to understand all details before coming to a conclusion.
Answered on 31 Mar 2020
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