Things are getting tougher for the JKSSB as the youth hit the streets to push for steps against its officials and Aptech, the company it has hired. The protest is finding strength with leading political parties and Twitter campaigns backing the aspirants.
THE Jammu & Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) administration doesn’t seem to stop anywhere when it comes to bringing disgrace to its present dispensation. The officials at the helm of affairs of the board aren’t listening to the grievances of candidates despite clear directions
from the Lieutenant Governor administration to remain accessible and overhaul the process in order to bring transparency and assurance in the recruitment process. The recruitment of Junior Engineer (JE) Civil and Sub-Inspector (Home Department) has exposed the malaise the board has been carrying with its rigid administration. In September 2022, the LG administration
carried out an overhaul of the administration within the JKSSB to bring transparency into the system but the present officials are proving to be incompetent and inaccessible to the grievances of the board aspirants.
Corroded by corruption
Aptech Private Company, hired by the JKSSB to conduct the examinations in the UT, has been drawing a lot of flak after a number of cases of corruption by the firm surfaced. On as recent as March 1, a scam was unearthed at Leh wherein Aptech officials were arrested for
tampering with the exam process to help some blue-eyed aspirants. Apprehensions of further frauds in the JKSSB exams led to a massive twitter campaign by the aspirants in the UT of J&K which fetched nearly 200K tweets.
While talking to Kashmir Central, Vinkal Sharma, who’s heading the protests against JKSSB and Aptech, demands a roll-back of the tainted private firm to restore the faith of the candidates in the recruitment system. Says he, “Our demand is simple: the JKSSB should cancel the tender of Aptech Pvt. Ltd. and recruit any other agency which has a clean track record in conducting the examination. We had informed the officials of the JKSSB well in advance but their attitude towards us was highly arrogant and in response, they accused us of delaying the process”. In December last, a single bench of the J&K High Court had strongly indicted the JKSSB administration for allotting contract to a tainted agency. The court had said the decision to award a contract to M/S
Aptech Limited, a blacklisted agency, was mala fide and change of condition in tender was intended to favour the said firm. But just after a day of the judgment, a division bench of the High Court stayed the single bench order and directed the JKSSB to conduct the examination process but barred the board from declaring results till further orders from the court. Vinkal remarks, “Our fight is against the JKSSB and Aptech. Our protest isn’t directed towards the LG administration. And now when the board officials are adamant to further breed corruption, we demand the intervention of the LG to hear us out and pull up the JKSSB for tinkering with the merit system”.
Meanwhile, the JKSSB is under scanner and facing multiple investigations by the LG. After all, its officials are accused of taking huge bribes from aspirants during the SI and JE recruitments of 2022. The investigation and raids are still being carried out at different locations in
both Jammu and Srinagar.