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Controversial career of the person who serve Legal Notice to Imphal Times

‘The person L. Saratchandra Chief Engineer in Charge of Education Department is an embodiment of malpractices; the validity of his engineering certificate is doubtful’

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Controversial career of the person who serve Legal Notice to Imphal Times

IT Exclusive
Imphal, May 20:

The career of L. Saratchandra Singh, Chief Engineer in the Engineering Cell of the Education Department, has been marred by allegations of malpractice and irregularities. In an order issued by the Governor of Manipur on June 30, 2004, L. Saratchandra, who was on deputation at DRDA, was absorbed and even promoted to Executive Engineer in DRDA Chandel.
However, this order was challenged by his colleagues in DRDA. The Deputy Commissioner/Executive Director of DRDA Chandel issued an order on June 28, 2016, sending him back to the LDA as an Assistant Engineer (AE).
In 2016, in a case regarding this matter, Single Judge Bench Justice Kotiswar upheld the decision to repatriate him to his earlier post at LDA, judging the absorption as illegal. The order was challenged, but it was upheld again by a two-judge bench, comprising Judges R.R. Prasad and Songkhupchung Serto, the same year.
Another concern raised in these court cases was that he was not eligible for promotion due to lack of the necessary qualifications and experience. The argument was that he only had a diploma, not a degree.
The irregularities did not stop. Even after this, L. Saratchandra Singh was appointed as Superintending Engineer on deputation to the Education Engineering Wing of the Education (S) Department on August 5, 2020, despite holding the post of AE. He was subsequently designated as the Chief Engineer-in-charge.
He is the cousin of Laishram Nandakumar Singh, the present Director of Education (S), who issued the following orders while he was the Joint Secretary, Education (S) Department in 2020.
Now, the question has arisen again whether he fulfills the necessary criteria. This time, another issue has emerged regarding his certificate from The Institution of Civil Engineers (India), which states he passed his Associate Membership Examination (Civil) – equivalent to a degree – in 2023. However, the validity of this equivalent degree certificate is questionable. In some states, certificates issued by the Institution of Civil Engineers are valid only if issued before May 2013.
AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) noted in a 2017 meeting that qualifications issued by the Institution of Civil Engineers before May 31, 2013, may be recognized for higher education and jobs. This was communicated to MHRD. For Haryana State, qualifications (Diploma/Degree) from the Institution of Civil Engineers, Ludhiana (Punjab), are valid only for those enrolled before May 31, 2013. AICTE’s circular dated November 23, 2006, informed all professional societies to stop registration from June 1, 2013. Some societies went to court, and a final judgment is awaited. Thus, students enrolled before the May 31, 2013, cutoff have permanent recognition.
Given these issues, it is pertinent that the relevant authorities verify the validity of the certificate.
L. Saratchandra’s career as an engineer in the state of Manipur strongly suggests a disturbing trend of malpractices in the promotions within different departments of Manipur. He was appointed as a Section Officer (SO) on May 21, 1996, on a work-charge basis in the Loktak Development Authority (LDA). On August 29, 1998, his service was regularized as a Section Officer (SO), and on June 30, 1999, he was promoted to Assistant Engineer (AE). On January 20, 2003, the Commissioner (RD & PR), Government of Manipur, appointed him to the DRDA, Chandel, on deputation for 4 years as Executive Engineer (EE). He remained there for about 13 years, obtaining periodic extensions in violation of the Service Rules. He returned to the LDA as an Assistant Engineer (AE) in 2016. In 2020, he went again on deputation to the Engineering Wing of Education (S) as Superintending Engineer on August 5, 2020, and as Chief Engineer-in-charge by order dated December 2, 2020.

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