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Post Article 370: Fair & Transparent Recruitment begins in J&K
8/5/2020 12:02:41 AM

K B Jandial

The seventy years’ mess in the sensitive border State of Jammu & Kashmir camouflaged by the Article 370 of Indian Constitution is getting cleaned up after the historic decision of its ‘abrogation’ was approved by both the Houses of the Parliament on 5th & 6th August last year by two third majority . Redeeming the long pending commitment to the nation to do away with it that had led to many ills in the State, the Govt got down to the business of restructuring almost every sector to remove the multifarious grievances of the people of all the regions, even sub-regions, and to extend the fruits of new dispensation devoid of favourtism, nepotism and corruption.
Presenting his vision of ‘Naya Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh’ Prime Minister Modi declared from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on Independence Day last year, “Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh will become a big inspiration for India’s growth journey, comfort, progress and peace…The old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption and nepotism, as well as injustice when it came to the rights of women, children, dalits, tribal communities... Their dreams get new wings.”
Translating this vision into reality is not an easy task especially when governance, public good, fair play and justice had been overshadowed by exploitation of a temporary provision of “special status” making it an emotive and political tool to ward off all sorts of accountabilities. This provision was also used to obstruct application of national level systems and regulations, beneficial to crores of people elsewhere (strangely not for 1.25cr of J&K).
Unfair and lopsided recruitment, especially at lower level, was usually marred by favourtism, nepotism and corruption often reflecting regional & communal bias. There are instances of backdoor entrants managed to get into India’s premier IAS with the patronage of political biggies. The skewed recruitment had been the major cause of regional discrimination, leading to public resentment on account of little or no representation to certain region. Thousands of persons were recruited without advertisements, interviews and even without posts and continued them with or without pay on the promise of regularization by one political dispensation or the other. Despite facing many such complicated issues, Lieutenant Governor, G.C Murmu headed UT administration has started finding legal ways to address these issues including human aspects.
Not only the method of recruitment, even the statutory reservations were subjective, depriving similarly placed some sections of people of their benefits. For example, Pahari Speaking People (PSP), having population of about 9.6 lakh were left out while the Gujjars with almost identical living and culture background were given the benefit of ST. Removing injustice to them, 4 % reservations has now been granted to PSP by including them in the category of socially and educationally backward classes. Like-wise, justice was also done to the residents living within 0-6km along International Border (IB) who too are victim of frequent Pak firing like the ones on LoC. The residents of recently notified 508 villages situated within the distance of 0- 6 kms from IB in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts have now been included in the category of residents living Along the Line of Control (ALC) entitled for 3% reservation in jobs. Now, 8 % reservation is available to SCs, 10% to STs, 4 % to Social Castes, 4 % to ALC/IB, 10 % to Residents of Backward Areas, 4 % to PSP and 10 % to EWS with horizontal 6 % to Ex-Servicemen and 4% to PHCs.
While all Govt positions are reserved for domiciles of UT in deference to wishes of the people, the criterion has been rationalized for selection of candidates up to pay level-5 (Rs 29200-Rs. 92300) to ensure fair distribution of jobs and appropriate representation to all districts in transparent manner. Following Central Govt pattern, interview system for them (Medical officers also) has been dispensed with. Marks in a combined written test will have primacy in the selection.
For UT cadre posts, the written test shall be of 85 out of total 100 marks with 05 marks weightage to those whose no family member has been in Government service, including in PSUs/Boards/ Autonomous Bodies etc and 05 marks weightage to widows, divorced women, judicially separated women and orphan girls. Daily Rated Workers and other similar candidates, engaged for at least five years shall get 05 additional marks with 5 years’ relaxation in the upper age limit to facilitate their selection.
In case of Divisional cadre posts, the written test shall be of 80 marks with 05 marks weightage for domicile of the concerned Division and remaining 15 marks, 05 marks each to above three categories of candidates along with conditions for Daily Rated Workers for UT cadre posts.
Likewise, for District cadre posts, 75 marks shall be for the written test with 10 marks for the domicile of the district concerned, and remaining 15 marks, 05 marks each for three categories of candidates with conditions as mentioned above for UT and Divisional Cadre posts.
The revised Rules provide procedure for preparation of select lists by the Service Selection Board in the ration of 1:4 of the advertised vacancies on the basis of aggregate marks of the candidates. At this stage, the short-listed candidates would be required to produce relevant documents including newly introduced Domicile Certificate. After verification, separate select lists shall be prepared for the UT cadre, two divisional cadres and twenty district cadres posts, combined across all departments for each cadre, on the basis of merit¬cum-preference filled up by the candidate in the application form.
This procedure is free from any influence, nepotism and corruption and shall set at rest all controversies overshadowing all past selections like a particular district or division taking away most of the posts. With issuance of advertisement notice for 1889 posts of Panchayat Accounts Assistants and 8575 posts of Class IV the transparent Accelerated Recruitment Phase -1 has begun.
Following reconstitution of Public Service Commission, recruitment process for about 1000 Medical Officers and 100 Veterinarians too has begun. Their selection too shall be made only on the basis of written test.
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