The constitution is highest law of land which clearly delicates power to different branches of government. The Legislative, the judicial and the executive branches. Among the executive branch the constitution has established an organized body politic for some independent functions in the country. These bodies are called constitutional bodies. They are provided with ample securities to in the function of their duties.
These are commonly called as Autonomous bodies. The legacy as traced from History of Napoleonic code was entrusted to one such institutional makeup called as Public Service Commission. Now the constitution also provides for separate state commissions to held recruitment tests for high ranking officials along broad spectrum of departments. The case study of Jammu and Kashmir State with separate state constitution also provides for what is termed as Jammu Kashmir public service commission.
The nitty-gritty of the working in commissions us to held Competition for state administrative service. This cadre in our state is commonly called as KAS ( Kashmir administrative service). The commission is engaged in this recruitment process from years. However the recent handling of 2016 notification for 277 posts has always emerged debatable among aspirant fraternity. The declaration of mains result on 4th December cane as a bolt from blue for almost everyone expecting selection. Is this true? Are the aspirants exposing aberration of outcome?
The nitty-gritty of present crisis is that from the preliminary stage the debatable notification appealed blow after blow.
The preliminary exam was conducted for a mammoth aspirant fraternity in conventional manner with optional as main deciding factor. In the aftermath of exam the official key published by JKPSC was snow white wrong which reduced the proportion of marks for one group while some others got decrease in the actual tally. Thereafter JKPSC announced result which was expectedly challenged through RTI option in which Oncology was deemed to be study of mountains, thanks not study of public service commission.
This RTI query kicked 450 candidates out from preliminary on behalf of wrong key published by commission. These aspirants moved Honourable High court which entertained their cause for admission into mains. This way the unintentional slap was thrashed on merit. Whatever the reasons like natural justice or so called bleak rules of JKPSC , these 450 haven’t qualified prelim on the merit scale. Thereafter the JKPSC handled the case immaturely which paved way for another 2300 candidates whose merit was par below of 272. This immaturity increased the ratio for mains.
This lackadaisical approach became burdensome for meritorious aspirants who have toiled hard to unravel preliminary puzzle. Thanks that only 2750 entered not that whole preliminary group 60000 slated to have visa free travel for mains.
The question here’s that whatever the Honourable High court decided is obligatory but the reality is that these excess aspirants haven’t qualified preliminary. KAS officer without ever qualifying preliminary is going to be defence of Governor’s statement. Has the meritorious aspirants challenged the judgement in Supreme Court they for sure would have left them in lurch on pretext of penalising JKPSC which created the mess? But alas! The meritorious took it easy.
After this JKPSC issued date sheet for mains with mammoth ratio to compete for 1:3. This irrational policy created mess for deserving candidates who otherwise have had to compete with expected ratio. Either way the meritorious aspirants have to share the burden for none of their fault. The petition was underway while JKPSC remained adamant to hold as per schedule. Thenceforth the exam whose 4 papers were held in hurriedness was quashed by honourable High court. Thereafter the exam whose result has become dubious now was held. However in the concluding stage the mess created by zoology students at Jammu centre reluctantly made JKPSC accept their illogical claim of out of syllabus criteria for re examination of zoology optional.
This claim was honoured by so called Deva sahab to hold re-examination. This is completely unjustifiable. Who could decide and draw a parallel line between papers poised as out of syllabus and one held thereafter. The protest of few days compelled Deva to entertain their appeal. If this has been the case with other subjects, had he taken similar initiative. This is the decision which liable to be annulled in judiciary.
Let’s wait . After this JKPSC published result on 4th of December with press statement mentioning” we have achieved feet in record 4 months to prepare result for 50000 papers”. To our surprise some noted academies of state were either already informed or remained to be part of decision when the result was circulated before JKPSC website formally publishing.
The result as expected was welcome in some corridors while as misfortune for others. However this time it went ahead when the dropouts claimed out rightly that result is either mass error or mass scam. As the aspirants deemed fit by even UPSC in a number of attempts in mains dropped in interview thereafter emerged among failures. This scheme of things saw disciplined protest at both capital cities. On reaching Deva the JKPSC as expected denied any mass error or scam. When Governor was informed they seemed in the snail’s mood to take the grievances.
The protests are continuing at both cities by aggrieved candidates. The mockery is that there’s no grievance redressal mechanism available at constitutional office. However when Deva shb came under intense pressure he accepted that JKPSC went for digital marking and scaling which could have impacted expected result.
The mockery of the response is that Digital marking has already been denounced by UPSC as arbitrary and irrational which goes on with manual checking of papers. How could subjective papers be without fraction evaluated digitally is bothering every deserving aspirant of state? The way it takes place provides enough scope for manipulation and doesn’t augur well for exam of such prestigious level.
Then on the second perspective the scaling and moderation impedes emergence of meritorious to the fore. Supreme Court in UP civil service vs Manoj Kumar case out rightly rejected scaling as arbitrary, illegal and irrational. For that let’s believe JKPSC has pan out to adopt scaling methodology but the way it was adopted selectively only in the middle of exam is disturbing.
If the scaling is rational for the matter of time they shall have adopted it right from preliminary stage. Why only in mains? Is it way out for entry of selective aspirants? Since right from preliminary stage errors whether intentional or unintentional have came to fore as proved by honourable High court. Why is Deva commission adamant not to entertain the appeal this time?
Denying RTI and internal enquiry confers means to say confers inherent and perpetual powers to Deva shb for prospect of KAS cadre in Kashmir. If there’s a coincidence of his statement and deeds why he’s reluctant for even internal enquiry. The mere statement of denying allegations isn’t justified at all. Neither is he any sage not any magician that statement coming from him will be taken in original context.
Now the best way to redress the grievances and save the morale of constitutional body on part of executive is to first dissolve the commission and establish novice board with high calibre officers. As the Deva shb has messed the things up number of times, the logical solution is to enforce the transfer process.
Thereafter the internal committee as demanded by students shall be immediately established to clear the air about mains evaluation criteria. Till the time scheduled interview process expected to be hurriedly taken from 20th need to be stalled. Morever I didn’t visualize anything wrong in the decision of aggrieved aspirants to move to honourable SC on the grounds earlier mentioned.
The mature way out for jkpsc is to let the aspirants proceed to sc and cooperate if the whole process in his words is fair. Is it Mass scam which compels him to make things in haste? It’s high time that JKPSC halts interview process for grievance redressal at least through Supreme Court lest Deva may again fail to satisfy court on illogical grounds (mains quashed by JK HC at earlier instance).
The whole screening process of JKPSC mains 2016 for sure would never pass the Supreme Court scrutiny. The aggrieved aspirants need to be supported arm and a leg to get whole things cleared at every possible fora. As supported by one KAS officer the task at hand isn’t just the mess or scam in JKPSC but the credibility of KAS cadre is at stake. Let’s hope the things get clearer in the near future and meritorious aspirants get justice.
All I can say is that one who doesn’t support the merit and fairness need to commit self immolation. Hats off to merit based recruitment.
Writer Shahid Majeed Mir hails from Lolab Kupwara and can be reached at email@example.com.