| Shantikam Hazarika |
Guwahati, Sept. 7: Dispur’s ambitious plan to bring about reforms in the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, has received a setback with chairman Shantikam Hazarika “quitting” his job, citing several hindrances, including lack of cooperation from some employees.
The state government had appointed Hazarika last year to effect the much-needed changes in the functioning of Seba. The board is responsible for preparing the syllabi of Class IX and X and conducting the matric examinations.
Seba has recently been making headlines for all the wrong reasons like delay in declaring matric results, faulty evaluation system and non-existence of a modern system of working like the CBSE.
Sources said Hazarika had recently written to education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and secretary of secondary education N.M. Hussain saying he was not happy with his job and applied for long leave from September 3. They said though Dispur was yet to respond to his letters, he had stopped coming to the Seba office from Monday.
“In his letters, the Seba chairman expressed serious resentment for not being able to perform as expected by Dispur because of several constraints. Lack of full cooperation from all the board employees to implement the reforms is one of the prime reasons that forced Hazarika to quit Seba,” a source said.
“Technically, the Seba chairman is not entitled to any kind of leave. In case of ailments or unavoidable personal reasons, the chairman may not come to the office. But such absence is not treated as leave since the chairman can work from his home or any other place. So, there is no question of going on long leave. Under such circumstances, Hazarika’s plea for such a leave implies that he has quit Seba,” he added.
Hazarika just said he had applied for a “long leave”.
Hussain confirmed having received Hazarika’s letter. He said Sarma would take the final call on the issue. Refusing to divulge details, he said Hazarika had expressed displeasure over some matters in Seba and was seemingly not motivated to continue.
Hazarika, who graduated from Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani and did his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, has wide experience in handling the management of top-bracket organisations, including Oil India Ltd and India Carbon Ltd, Calcutta.
After his appointment, the government had constituted an expert committee to suggest measures to bring about a sea change in the functioning of Seba. The committee, which was headed by Srinath Baruah vice-chancellor of K.K. Handique State Open University, made several recommendations in its report, including upgrading the chairman’s post to the rank of vice-chancellor.
Sources said Hazarika was also under pressure from various organisations and corporate houses to take charge of their top posts.