JKSSB undergoing exhaustive ‘makeover exercise’

Innovation in place to ensure transparency, fairness: JKSSB Chairman

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB), currently in the eye of storm for a bout of allegations of irregularities in different examinations and selection process, has embarked on an extensive makeover exercise, to restore what it has lost in the din in the recent past i.e., trust of the youth.

Introduction of multiple-check system, involving trained and technical experts while being “extra innovative” has formed the crux of this “makeover” to restore the shaken trust and confidence of youth in its (JKSSB’s) functioning.

Giving a detailed account of the innovative measures being taken by it (Board), Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) chairman Rajesh Sharma, in an exclusive interview with “Greater Kashmir”, asserts that the transparency and fairness (in recruitment process) are the essence of its entire exercise. “Youth and their trust form the core of our existence, hence this makeover is desired,” he avers. 

Questions, with regard to the renewed controversy, which landed the Board in the court of law and also earned it some adverse remarks, were imperative. Yet the sub-judice nature of the matter did not allow him to elaborate on that account.

However, he asserted that there was no deviation in rules in the selection of company hired to conduct the computer-based test for the posts of JEs (Civil) at Jal Shakti department and JKP Sub-Inspectors.

“Since the matter is sub-judice, I would not be able to answer your questions on this account. However, I will certainly use this opportunity to make our intentions clear to the candidates as at the end of day, it is their satisfaction and trust, which matter the most to us (the Board and the government). They are the main and only stake-holders for us,” he said.

“There are issues being raised regarding the recent selection of the company for holding the Computer based test. I assure you as well as the candidates that the selection is purely as per the rules. The committee, constituted by the General Administration Department, is headed by the senior-most member of the Board. Only endeavour of all the members of the Board in that committee and even from other departments was to have it (selection of company) through a very transparent method, following all guidelines as provided under General Financial Rules (GFR) of the Government of India. They have not deviated from these rules. Still the matter has landed in the court of law so I cannot answer in detail all your queries,” SSB chairman maintained.

“For me, it would be enough to say with regard to the issue ,being raked up that it was a black-listed company – Yes, it was black-listed in the past. But that period was over in May, 2022 and our tender was floated in the month of September, 2022. The company had already completed that (blacklisted) period. So the Purchase Committee constituted by the GAD acted in a very transparent manner. Whatever it recommended was absolutely provided in the General Financial Rules. So we are going ahead with the conduct of examinations by that company,” he mentioned.

To restore the confidence of the candidates, the Board has introduced certain innovations in the examination process. “For example, Admit Cards are being issued at two stages. First Admit Card is being issued seven days prior to the exam whereby the candidate comes to know about the city where he is going to appear. Second Admit card is being issued three days prior to the exam. It provides the name of the Centre, the specific Centre. We identify these centres and check their track record. Over and above, we have employed an auditing agency, which will audit the functioning of the company hired to conduct the test, at every stage in the form of a ‘third party audit’. Besides, there will be GAD observers (of Deputy Secretary level or above) at every centre," SSB chairman stated.

"Then DCs have also appointed one technical person (with mandatory computer knowledge) at every centre. We have installed jammers at the Centre for the very first time in the history of J&K. The Information Technology department has deployed some personnel both at Jammu and Srinagar. Besides there will be flying squads. So these are a few steps in the form of multiple checks to make the examination process foolproof,” he informed.     

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