Meritocracy and Transparency: Is it the new beginning?

The data proves that JKPSC and JKSSB, which since 2014 (till date) have made 52,630 recruitments – 44,086 by JKSSB and 8544 by JKPSC, have maximised their performance in the last three years.
The data proves that JKPSC and JKSSB, which since 2014 (till date) have made 52,630 recruitments – 44,086 by JKSSB and 8544 by JKPSC, have maximised their performance in the last three years.Special arrangement

Jammu: Since the abrogation of Article 370, premier J&K recruitment bodies have recruited around 30,000 youth in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three years.

And officially speaking, this count is on with the helmsmen focussing on further “expediting recruitment process to be weighed only on transparency and merit.”

A cursory glance at official statistics reveals that Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB), Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC), Jammu and Kashmir Police Recruitment Board (JKPRB) and Jammu and Kashmir Bank (JKB) have made a total of 29,806 selections post 2019.

An empirical study of official figures belies the perception, gaining currency for whatever reason, that J&K is passing through a “dry-run” in terms of employment and its major recruitment agencies JKSSB and JKPSC have failed the youth with “their sluggish pace punctuated by red-tapism.”

The data proves that JKPSC and JKSSB, which since 2014 (till date) have made 52,630 recruitments – 44,086 by JKSSB and 8544 by JKPSC, have maximised their performance in the last three years.

From 2019 to 2022, JKSSB made 23,732 selections while JKPSC recruited 2539 youth, thus creating a combined total of 26,271 recruitments. This figure is almost at par with the number of recruitments made during 2014-19 which is 26,359.

During 2014-2019, JKSSB made a total of 24,041 recruitments, including district, divisional and state cadre selections against 23,732 selections it made just in the last three years (2019 to 2022).

A senior officer, quoting official statistics, points out, “See figures cannot lie. Statistics are there to counter the propaganda. Yet for us, the directions from the top are very lucid. Transparency (in recruitment) is the key expression and merit will be uncompromising. This explains the rationale behind the assertions of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha which he made following the cancellation of the JKSSB lists earlier this year following complaints received about irregularities in the exams. The exam was cancelled and the CBI probe was ordered. The premier investigation agency has made few arrests; the investigation is still on. As the LG has already announced that cancelled exams will be conducted in November so the recruitment process, after a brief hitch, will pick up the pace again. We can understand the frustration of candidates yet they should not overlook the crucial fact that transparency and recognition of merit are in their interest only.”

Coming back to official statistics, of the 29,806 jobs provided in the past three years besides PSC and SSB, JKPRB recruited 1106 youth, with a break-up of 338 selections in Police and 86 in Fire and Emergency in 2019 and 682 in 2020 while JKB also made 2429 selections that are 929 in 2019; 17 in 2020 and 1483 in 2021.

As per year-wise breakup of recruitment made by JKPSC, SSB, PRB and JKB, the total number of selections made by these agencies in 2019 was 6235 and this number was 2793, 11,434 and 9344 in the year 2020, 2021 and 2022 (as of date).

During the last three years, SSB’s 23,732 recruitments comprised 3687 selections in 2019; 1447 in 2020; 9390 in 2021 and 9208 (as of date) in 2022. Similarly, PSC made 1195 selections in 2019; 647 in 2020; 561 in 2021 and 136 (as of date) in 2022, thus accounting for a total of 2539 recruitments.

“The years 2021 and 2022 have seen a quantum jump in selections by JKSSB in particular thus showing a resolve of the government’s commitment to expediting the process,” the officer mentions.

The year-wise break up of recruitment by JKPSC and JKSSB from 2014 onwards, which though shows a zig-zag pattern for various reasons, to a great extent substantiates his claims.

Both agencies recruited 1708 youth, 852 by PSC and 856 by JKSSB, in 2014; 8427 (312 by PSC and 8115 by SSB) in 2015; 5430 (4547 by SSB and 883 by PSC) in 2016; 5717 (3624 by SSB and 2093 by PSC) in 2017; 5077 (3212 by SSB and 1865 by PSC) in 2018.

The combined figure of recruitment made by JKPSC and JKSSB was 4882 in 2019; 2094 in 2020; 9951 in 2021 and 9344 (as of date) in 2022. As far as JKSSB is concerned, it made a total of 24041 selections (including district, divisional and state cadre) during 2014-2019 which comprised 856 in 2014; 8115 in 2015; 4547 in 2016; 3624 in 2017; 3212 in 2018 and 3687 in 2019.

District-wise recruitment data break-up shows that during 2014-2019, it made 16592 selections which included 838 in 2014; 5953 in 2015; 2864 in 2016; 2262 in 2017; 2286 in 2018 and 2389 in 2019. In the case of divisional and state cadre, a total of 7449 recruitments were made between 2014-19 and its break-up included 2094 in divisional cadre Jammu; 2804 in divisional cadre Kashmir and 2551 under state cadre.

“The government jobs would always remain inadequate for the growing number of unemployed youth every year. One cannot lose sight of this fact. So we’re working on a three-pronged strategy. LG Sinha even today has mentioned that the government has provided self-employment opportunities to 5.2 lakh youth under various programmes. Under PMEGP, 21640 manufacturing units have been set up in the last financial year. A total of 1.73 lakh new job opportunities have been created. Besides, more than 5.5 lakh women have been associated with Self Help Groups (SHGs),” the officer explains.

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