Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when backdoor appointments and regularisation of contractual employees have led to widespread criticism and protests, the Kerala government has made a contractual appointment in a deputation post.
The appointment of Sreela Menon, former member of the Child Rights Commission, to the post of Nirbhaya Cell Coordinator under the Social Justice Department has raised eyebrows. The government has explained that it did not receive deputation applications for the post.
Earlier, officials from Women Welfare and Social Justice Departments were appointed as Co-ordinators under deputation. But this time, the notification itself was issued with the contractual appointment in mind. It is suspected that this was to appoint Sreela Menon in the post.
The notification inviting applications to the post included a clause which stipulated that a contractual appointment can be made if there are no applicants for deputation appointment. Applicants seeking deputation should have MSW as educational qualification and 10 years of experience in relocation and welfare of children. But for contractual appointments, the educational qualification is MSW or LLB and experience in project implementation.
There is an allegation that LLB was included as educational qualification to help Sreela Menon secure the post. Moreover, the notification was not published in any major media unlike the government had been doing previously.
Sreela Menon has been appointed as the Nirbhaya Cell Coordinator for 1 year. She will draw a salary of up to Rs 1,10,400. The appointment order states that Sreela Menon was appointed as there were no applicants seeking deputation. But it is a fact that there are several government officers in service with the qualification and experience required for being deputised.