Arshid Bashir | ViewPoint
The recent IAS result is a reflection of deep rooted confusion and insecurity among the Kashmiri youth and the failure of our state institutions. Like every year the result of IAS declared by the UPSC has brought cheers to many faces across the country and the inspiring success stories of selected candidates are shared to inspire more youth. Like every year our state also had its share of jubilations as nearly seven candidates from our state have made it to the final selection list of this prestigious examination.
While the success of these selected candidates is cheered by one and all in the state, but 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 JKPSC in the recent past. JKPSC is a constitutional recruitment body, autonomous in its functioning which conducts the state level competitive exams for the gazetted posts like Kashmir Administrative services and other
departmental gezetted post exams similar to UPSC, which conducts Indian Administrative Exam and other national level exams at the union level. 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. The recent failure of aspirants from Kashmir in upsc is a case in hand, as we paid
for the inefficiency of this organization given the way it conducted the exams in the past years.
In 2014 JKPSC advertised 51 posts for KAS junior scale officers the process of the selection was supposed to finish in the period of 1 year at 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 as the matter is sub judis before hon’ble Supreme court, so it won’t be wrong to say its future hangs in air.
The exam was shrouded with controversies from the day one because of the inefficient and callous approach of the jkpsc, the inefficiency and irresponsibility of the 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 keeps 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.
State institutions are the manifestations of democracy and are the limbs through which democracy function, these institutions are supposed to facilitate the career progression of the candidate, but in our state they work otherwise.
The functioning of the JKPSC is not the only night mare of the candidates desirous of appearing in recruitment exams, the other recruitment bodies do even worst. In 2018 the biggest news which made headlines in the local dailies was the J&K bank recruitment scandal. The back door appointments in the bank was brought to the notice of the general public by none other than the hon’ble Governor of the state himself, although the matter was later buried but the damage it had done to the
confidence of the aspirants could not be undone. similarly even more shocking revelation by the Hon’ble Governor about some blue eyed candidate being inducted in KAS without going through any competitive exam further shattered the belief of the candidates in this
constitutional body, notwithstanding the clarification on the issue 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 most controversial appointment as executive officer was that of the nephew of the then CM Mehbooba Mufti. 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. There cannot be any denying that such type of delays and mischiefs in recruitment are not specific to Kashmir only and can happen anywhere, but same in no way can justify the hick ups in the recruitment process and therefore need to be checked and nipped from the bud, as a conflict ridden society we can hardly afford such delays.
Life is already very difficult in our statebecause of the prevailing political turmoil which has engulfed each and every sphere of our lives under its flams, and there seems no end to it in the near future. Under such 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.
The youth of the state particularly of the valley live in perpetual confusion and have a continuous conflictiual ideas with no clarity of thought about their career choices, courtesy political conflict. Decision taking and staying motivated in a situation where on the one side a 14 year old Kashmiri boy chooses to lay his life for a cause which he thinks is worth it and on
the other side a 16 year old Kashmiri guy who is awarded Shaurya Chakra by the Hon’ble President of the nation for fighting same militant group is something which only a Kashmiri can
understand. Under such situation the duty of the state institutions become doubly important to mitigate the hardships faced by the youth and facilitate them to cherish and explore their talent. 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 our youth to the wall and kill their confidence. The abysmal 2018 IAS result would have been completely different had JKPSC
been as professional as mandated by the constitution.
Author Arshid Bashir, is a lawyer and can be mailed at Arshtt90@gmail.com