Fewer Kashmiris in KAS: Pandit
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Nov 15: Former Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Muhammad Shafi Pandit on Sunday admitted that there was low representation of Kashmiris in the Kashmir Administrative Services. He blamed reservations for disparity and underscored the need for constitutional amendment to avoid tussle on the issue between Jammu and Kashmir divisions.
Pandit who was speaking on the topic ‘Has PSC been just towards Kashmiri aspirants,” said, “There is no doubt that there is low representation of Kashmiris in the KAS.”
Referring to the reservation policy, Pandit said to protect the interests of a certain group of people in the country they were given time- bound reservations. But he said over a period of time the reservations were still there. “In JK, we had reservations for only first generation of backward classes. But it was also gradually extended to successive generations,” he said adding that the reservations were taking a heavy toll on the candidates from Kashmir.
Pandit strongly defended the Commission saying it had been working on a defined set of rules and regulations.
“But what (result) is just and fair to Kashmiris, may not be considered so by Jammuites and vice-versa. The PSC gives justice and conducts its business according to set of rules,” he said.
Pandit said in 2005 KAS prelims exams, out of 15000 candidates only 6000 were from Kashmir and only six per cent qualified from the Valley while 12 and 18 per cent qualified from Jammu and Ladakh regions respectively. As compared to 301 candidates from Jammu, he said only 79 candidates qualified the KAS main examinations. “Out of 132 posts, 96 were bagged by candidates from Jammu while 29 and 7 posts were bagged by the candidates from Kashmir and Ladakh regions respectively. Though the number of successful candidates from Jammu was high but there was no discrimination as perceived. Out of 132 candidates, 64 were Muslims,” he said.
Dispelling the disparity in markings, he said the average number of marks obtained by candidates from Kashmir were higher than their counterparts from Jammu.
“There were a number of candidates from Kashmir who could have made it to the KAS. But the reservations forced them out of the final list,” he added.
The former PSC chairperson suggested adopting the Telangana (Andhara Pradesh) model for balanced development and appointments. He said under the model, there has to be 80, 70 and 60 per cent reservations in a particular area in lower jobs, non-gazetted and gazetted posts respectively. He suggested constitutional amendment for this purpose.
He said candidates from Kashmir were talented. “But there is need to groom and channelize their talent in the right direction. They have shown inclination towards medical and engineering rather than administrative services.”
He said the US and South Africa coped up similar problem by giving equal opportunity to everybody. He said it was a matter of concern that Kashmiri youth lacked reading habits. “During my interaction with KAS aspirants I was shocked to know that they hardly read any books. This attitude has to be changed. We need to motivate the youth to sit not only in KAS but in other competitive exams like IAS and IFS,” he added.
“It is high time for constitutional amendment in reservations to avoid friction between Jammu and Kashmir divisions. This will safeguard state’s diverse population and social fabric,” he added.
He expressed concern over change of attitude of Kashmiris towards menial jobs. “We have lost handicraft, agricultural and construction arenas to labourers from outsiders.
QAZI MUHAMMAD AMIN
In his speech ‘Why Kashmiris lag behind? Lack of merit of political interference?,’ the former Commissioner Secretary GAD, Qazi Muhammad Amin alleged discrimination in recruitments against Kashmiris.
“The discrimination against Kashmiris is not due to lack of interest but purely due to political interference. Kashmiris have been discriminated for the past one century. It surfaced when Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who had completed his higher education from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), was given a teacher’s job. During Dogra rule, five posts were reserved for Kashmiri Pandits while Muslims were discriminated,” he said.
He said during the Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad’s regime, education was free, compulsory and jobs were given according to merit.
“However, discrimination in the democratic set-up during the past few decades is unfortunate.”
Alleging “bungling” in the result of Naib Tehsildars, he accused the Service Selection Board (SSB) of flouting all the rules and regulations.
He said the basic requirement for the post of Naib Tehsildar was Urdu as a subject in matric. “But the SSRB violated all rules by appointing those from other regions who are not familiar with Urdu which is not only the state’s official language but all revenue records are written with it,” he said.
Amin said there was lack of transparency in examination and recruitments. “In few years, administrative services can become a nightmare for Kashmiris,” he warned.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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