UT Admin Has Promises To Keep
recruitment. Scams in the recruitment process shake the faith of poor meritorious
candidates. UT Admin must devise recruitment processes that leave no room for scams
On August 5, 2019, the decision to scrap Article 370 and 35 A shook the common
masses of Jammu and Kashmir. There were many insecurities and fears in the minds of
the people. But with passage of time, people overcame their fears and started a new life
– particularly the educated unemployed youth. Initially after abrogation, the youth of
Jammu and Kashmir had got de-motivated by the new job policies. They were afraid
that they would not get government jobs as they would now have to compete with
youth all over the nation for seeking a job.
Two days after Article 370 was scrapped, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed
the nation. He said that the move in J&K would usher in a new dawn in the region. He
also announced that the Union Government was committed to fill all vacant posts in the
government. A few weeks later, then Governor Satya Pal Malik announced that 50,000
vacant government posts would be filled in next few months, there by calling upon the
youth to enthusiastically participate in the recruitment drive.
The promises made by the Prime Minister and the Governor motivated the youth. They
started looking forward to bright opportunities. In my talks with the Kashmiri youth, I
got the feedback that the youth had started believing that the scrapping of Article 370
was a welcome step because there would be no corruption, nepotism and favoritism in
completing the recruitments.
This belief was significantly strengthened when the Jammu and Kashmir Service
Selection Board (JKSSB) conducted the exam of Panchayat Account Assistant in 2020.
Approximately 1.62 lakh aspirants appeared in the examination. The merit list and also
the selection list was prepared in a transparent manner. Recruitment was completed in
a fair way.
Another exam conducted by JKSSB was for Class IV employees. About 3.5 lakh youth
appeared the exam which was conduct in the first quarter of 2021. There was clear
indication that the youths had started trusting the recruitment board and the fair
selection of candidates.
The Mess Started Thereafter
Under the ‘fast track recruitment drive’ promised by the Government, the recruitment
should be completed in one year under any particular notification. The notification for
recruitment of Class IV employees was published on June 26, 2020. Going by this, the
recruitment should be completed by June 2021. The reality is that we are in mid-August,
2022. The recruitment has not been completed till now.
One can say that the recruitment may have been delayed because of the pandemic. But
the fact is that the examination for these posts had been conducted in early March,
2021. Only official work was left thereafter.
JKSSB issued the selection list of 5091 candidates in September 2021. The revised merit
list was issued in October 2021. The provisional selection list was notified on April 25,
2022. Then document verification was carried out. The selected candidates are eagerly
waiting to join their duties, but it seems that the selection process has not been
Speaking to Kashmir Central, Sajad Ahmad Dar, a selected Class IV aspirant said, “We are
eagerly waiting for the day when the remaining formalities in the selection will be
completed and we will join duty. From the date on which the merit list was issued to
this time, I have been tense about the matter. So many negativities and fears strike my
mind. I am fearful that what if this merit list is challenged in the court and scrapped, like
the JKPSI was scrapped.”
The UT Administration has cancelled the JKPSI list and recommended CBI probe into the
selection process. On the one hand, scrapping the exam was a big step towards securing
the future of meritorious youth. On the other hand, they also felt de-motivated that
their hard work had gone waste.
The youth understand that the system has not been cleaned yet. There are still many
black sheep in the recruiting boards. They give a bad name to the board and weaken its
credibility. At the same time, poor candidates who make it to the merit list suffer
harassment on account of these lacunae in the recruitment process.
The JKPSI notification was notified by JKSSB on October 21, 2021. A total of 800 posts
were notified. The Lt Governor later increased 400 more posts, following the
representations from various delegations. The upper age limit was also increased to 30
years, which earlier was 28 years as notified by the board.
The board received more than 97,000 applications. A computer-based test was
conducted on 27 March 2022. The board notified the merit list in early June. The list
was followed by several allegations of favoritism in the selection process. Several youths
from a single family had made it to the list, giving rise to the allegations. The UT
Government formed a committee to probe the alleged irregularities in the written test
for SI posts.
The scam was a bolt from the blue for the youth who had applied for the posts and had
got selected. Simultaneously, another recruitment process for
Finance Accounts Assistants also came under scanner. The notification for the posts of
Finance Accounts Assistants had been published in mid-December 2020, with provision
for 972 posts. The exam got deferred many times due to the pandemic. Finally the OMR
written examination was conducted on March 6, 2022 by the Board. The result of the
test was declared by the Board on April 22, 2022. The process of document verification
was carried out.
As the scam in the merit list for the sub-inspector exam scam surfaced, the finance
accounts assistant recruitment also came under the scanner. It has been probed by a
high level committee headed by ACS Home.
The youth who appeared for the exam for Finance Accounts Assistants have been
protesting for more than three weeks. They are demanding that the UT Administration
must not scrap the recruitment. “We are not against any kind of enquiry. The
government can conduct the probe. But at the same time, the government must
appreciate that we have worked hard for so many years to qualify for the test and get a
job,” said Obaid, who is aspiring to join as Finance Accounts Assistant. He is among the
protestors at Press Colony, Srinagar.
The aspirants for Finance Accounts Assistants posts said that if the entire recruitment
process is scrapped, it will leave a scar on our careers. “We wish those who are found to
be involved in malpractices should be identified and punished under relevant sections of
law. If the administration scraps the entire lists, we all will be painted with the same
brush and we will lose our credibility,” Obaid said. “There are a number of aspirants
among us who come from financially weak backgrounds. The recruitment will give them
financial security and shall lead to great relief for their family. Hence the entire process
must not be scrapped,” he added. The candidates added that many successful aspirants
had been able to fix their marriages, because in Kashmir those who hold government
jobs are given preference as prospective grooms.
Clean The System, Punish The Black Sheep
Fast track recruitments are meant to be completed within a year from the date of
publishing of advertisement notification. Since 2020, more than 20000 recruitments
have been completed under different notifications. But unfortunately, many major
recruitment processes are yet to be completed. The delaying in the completion of
recruitment process is torturous for the job aspirants.
The government must devise suitable systems for recruitment process which cannot be
corrupted. Those who indulge in malpractices must be identified, and action must be
initiated against them as per law. Thousands of candidates who are meritorious and
who deserve to be appointment must not suffer on account of a few black sheep.