Reflecting a poor response to record number of Kashmir Administrative Service posts advertised by the J&K Public Service Commission this year, only 4800 aspirants from Kashmir have applied for the vacancies so far. This, according to officials, is primarily owing to curfew-like restrictions and suspension of internet services in Kashmir following the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that only 4884 aspirants from Kashmir Valley have applied for KAS vacancies of 2016. And this, they said, is negligible given the population ratio of the region.
On the other hand, 22482 applicants have opted for the examination from Jammu region and 1268 from Ladakh, so far.
On June 18, the PSC—the body conducting examination for gazetted posts in the State—had invited applications for filling up of 277 vacancies—269 KAS, two KPS and six Accounts Service. This is the second highest number of vacancies advertised in the coveted service so far.
The highest number of vacancies advertised was 398 in 2009 (2011 batch) followed by 267 in 1995 (1999 batch).
In response to the June 18 notification, 28634 candidates have filled online application forms, sources in the PSC disclosed. Of these, 78.51 percent applicants are from Jammu, 17.05 % from Kashmir and 4.42% from Ladakh. This is despite the fact that Kashmir has 55.04 percent of J&K's population whereas Jammu and Ladakh respectively constitute 42.63 and 2.31 percent of the population.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that aspirants from Kashmir are unable to fill up the online forms due to snapping of internet services in the wake of ongoing unrest.
"Since internet services are down, candidates who want to appear in the examination are unable to fill up the forms through online mode," they said.
In view this, the PSC has announced that it will extend date for filling of online application forms as and when internet services are restored.
"It is notified for information of the general public that the last date for filing of online application forms in respect of Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examination, 2016 shall be extended by at least 15 days as and when the internet services are restored," reads a notice issued by the PSC.
This newspaper also got hundreds of calls from aspirants seeking extension of time for filing the application forms.
Meanwhile, several Deputy Commissioners have made internet services available in their offices for KAS aspirants.
"We have made the internet facility available for such candidates. They can come anytime during office hours and fill the application forms," DC Pulwama Munir-ul-Islam said. "We will also arrange books and coaching material for desirous candidates".