Published: 02nd October 2020
Odisha Higher Education department overrides government order, asks for 100 pc staff attendance
If someone falls ill due to COVID-19, they may avail home isolation/quarantine/treatment as per Government guidelines under intimation to their authority concerned, the order said
Strange are the ways of the Higher Education department, which has ‘enlisted’ itself as an essential service provider during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A day after the General Administration (GA) department gave clear instructions to all State Government and subordinate offices other than those providing essential services in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to function with 50 per cent of their staff strength in the month of October, the Higher Education department directed full attendance of its employees.
“All the staff of the Higher Education department are hereby directed to attend office on all working days during usual office hours i.e 10 am to 5 pm”, said an office order of the department on Thursday.
If someone falls ill due to Covid-19, they may avail home isolation/quarantine/treatment as per Government guidelines under intimation to their authority concerned, the order said.
In fact, the GA department order has given the freedom to departments and heads of offices in the Twin City to decide the manner of selection of employees who will attend office and administrative departments to decide the scale of operations in sub-ordinate and field offices.
However, it has made clear that essential offices/services such as Special Relief Commissioner and OSDMA offices, police, fire services, health services, municipal services will function in full strength.
“We fail to understand in what way the Higher Education department is providing essential services when all the educational institutions of the State are closed,” said a senior officer of the department.
It has been more than six months, students of college and universities are sitting at homes without even any online classes. While many schools are taking online classes, the department is yet to take steps on how to complete the courses of the students for the current academic year, the sources maintained.