The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) is drawing flak once again for the “biased” and “unfair” process adopted by it to select candidates for government jobs.
The alleged “minuscule” representation to Jammu and Ladakh candidates has forced the BJP, which is the ruling alliance partner in the state government, to voice its concern against the discrimination meted out to the two regions as the saffron party had been drawing sharp criticism from Opposition and student groups for its “cryptic silence” over the issue.
The Opposition and student groups have been accusing the JKPSC of selecting candidates on regional and religious lines while ignoring the “deserving and competent” candidates. The issue has also fuelled the demand for separate Public Service Commissions for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions to deliver justice to the educated youth of all the three regions.
The recent selection list of assistant professors (economics) in the Higher Education Department in which only three candidates from Jammu, except those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, made their way while at least 23 candidates were selected from Kashmir in the open category has made these voices shriller. Interestingly, not even a single candidate from Ladakh, comprising Kargil and Leh districts, managed to make it to the final selection list.
“Similarly, the warring groups have drawn attention towards the recent selection lists of 10+2 lecturers in the Education Department. According to them, out of the total 62 posts of lecturers in zoology, 44 candidates have been selected from Kashmir and 18 candidates from Jammu, while in the RBA category, out of the total 23 posts, 18 candidates are from the Kashmir province and only five are from Jammu,” he said. Out of the total 62 posts of 10+2 lecturers in physics, 42 candidates have been selected from Kashmir and 20 from Jammu, he said.
“Numerous complaints by deserving candidates of the state regarding biased functioning of the commission in the recent competitive examinations are flagrant examples of the discrimination,” senior BJP leader Chander Mohan Sharma said in a letter written to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on May 13.
“Astonishingly, the prestigious body like the PSC is functioning without a regular Controller of Examination and proper process or procedure of selection to the gazetted posts of the state government is assigned to two retired officials of moderate stature who have been accused of manipulations and manoeuvring such assignments requiring impeccable integrity,” he said.
These officials, he alleged, were enjoying all the powers, including access to secrecy and empanelment of experts of their choice, for conducting interviews for the last nine to 10 years.
Harsh Dev Singh, Panthers Party chairman, said, “It is shocking to note that Jammu has been subjected to grave injustice in employment. There is all around condemnation to their (PSC) act. It is obnoxious and it cannot be tolerated. The government must order a high-level probe and sack the guilty officers and officials for this criminal act. There should be a mechanism to ensure transparency and fairness in the selection process.”
Student groups, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Panthers Student Union (NPSU) and National Secular Forum (NSF), too, have voiced their concerns demanding separate PSCs for the Jammu and Ladakh regions.
Neither Abdul Latief Deva, chairman of the commission, nor Shakeel Ul Rehman, Controller of Examinations of the PSC, was available for comments.