State Ensured Failure

Like every year the result of IAS declared by the UPSC has brought cheers to many faces across the country. Like every year our state also had its share of jubilations as nearly seven candidates from our state made it to the final selection list.

While the success of these selected candidates is cheered by one and all in the state, the people of the Kashmir division had to reconcile with the fact that none of the aspirant from Kashmir figured in the final selection list this year.

While such abysmal results are not surprising in such kind of competitive exams and one can simply relate the failure with the lack of preparation by the candidates or the luck playing other way round, therefore one ignores digging deep into the reasons of the failure, but in our case the things are not so simple and there is something more serious than what meets the eye.

This year’s disappointing performance by the candidates from the Kashmir should be seen in the backdrop of inefficiency and mismanagement by JKPSCin the recent past.

Given the responsibility and authority it has been entrusted with any compromise by it in its efficiency or integrity can hardly be afforded, and ignored.  In 2014 JKPSCadvertised 51 posts for KAS junior scale officers the process of the selection was supposed to finish in 1 year  maximum, as notified by JKPSC, but to the surprise of all it took JKPSC nearly 4 years to complete the process as the whole exam was marred by corruption charges, wrong evaluation and later court litigations resulting in the loss of precious 4 years of aspirants in this process.

Not satisfied with the damage it inflicted to the aspirants in the selection process of 2014, the JKPSC issued KAS notification 2016 inviting applications for 276 post of junior scale KAS officers, the process was expected to end in 1 year but even after 4 years the process is not only incomplete but is stuck in the legal battle.

The inefficiency of JKPSC can be gauged from the fact that “Oncology for JKPSC meant study of mountains”! It is because of these kinds of mistakes by JKPSC that matter later went before the hon’ble High Court and is still pending.

This exam kept all aspirants hostage for all these years as this exam hardly let anyone to think of any other competitive exam and kept aspirants glued to it because of the structure of the exam process ( 3 tier) and competition involved.

This year’s abysmal result in UPSC is because of the same reason as candidates were busy preparing and appearing in KAS exam, as choosing KAS over IAS was a compulsion thrust on students from Kashmir by the local circumstances as discussed ahead.

The shocking revelation by the Hon’ble Governor about some blue eyed candidates inducted in KAS without going through any competitive exam further shattered the belief of the candidates in this constitutional body, notwithstanding the clarification by the JKPSC rebutting the allegations by the Hon’ble governor.

Another recruitment scandal which further shook the confidence of aspirants was in Khadi Village and Industries Board (KVIB) where some close relatives of political leaders were recruited instead the deserving ones.

The appointment of nearly 1600 Assistant Professors for higher education few years back also had left many unanswered questions, one being the merit for such posts was ironically decided by the percentage of marks attained by the candidates in their master’s degree therefore compromising the quality of teachers and dropping meritorious candidates!.

The recruitment process of Police Sub Inspector was hit with roadblocks when some alleged discrimination on the regional basis was brought to the notice of Hon’ble HC. The selection process for the post of NT (Naib Tehsildar) which is still pending also had to go through the scrutiny of the High Court as the notification of the exam was very ambiguous and left the candidates confused, the list doesn’t end here but goes on and on.

 Under the present conditions the hopes of job creation in the private sector and foreign investments in near future seems very bleak, so the educated youth are left with no choice but to pin their hopes on government jobs only.  It makes the duty of the state institutions doubly important.

The state institutions need to take extra care and deliver to the satisfaction of the people as any mistake, intentional or otherwise, push our educated youth to the wall, killing their confidence. The 2018 IAS result would have been completely different had JKPSC been as professional as mandated by the constitution.

Writer is a lawyer by profession.