The Row and Ruckus about KAS
By: Mudasir Ahmad Gori
Kashmir is always busy with some issue day in and day out. There is hardly any day when we do not see resentment of people being expressed on roads, written in placards, posters and banners. One of the recent episodes of resentment is that of Civil Service Aspirants (KAS). The JKPSC which pledges the utmost impartiality, objectivity and efficiently to carry out its work has been subjected to harsh criticism after allegations or reports of improper evaluation came to the limelight. This new process of evaluation is termed as ‘Digital Evaluation. This issue has now offered fodder for discussions among politicians who ironically have shown no pains so for to set the records right with the candidates.
Their resentment is genuine. After all their hard work has been spoiled because of this crooked process of digitalization and one wonders how Jammu Kashmir Public Service can take things for granted. It is considered as one of the main, toughest and standard level of state exams. Every year thousands of students wait passionately for the advertisement so that their cherished dreams of becoming an officer get materialized.
Normally the answer papers in the said examinations were evaluated manually and with the advancement of technology, JKPSC might have thought to lessen their burden and become a little more advanced. But little did they know it will land them in trouble very quickly.
What has actually happened? The papers were scanned and sent to another state PSC for evaluation. There, the respective scanned copies did not appear as good as they might have looked if checked as hard copies. It is presumed many of the candidates who had drawn diagrams might have looked comparatively good on the computer screen, while the answer script might have looked a little blur. After all it is the effect of digitalization, evaluators might have been asked to check the respective copies in just stipulated 5-7 minutes, how can one justify a booklet of more than forty pages in just 7 minutes?
The JKPSC should have learned a lesson early on when the controversy over the answer of a question brought shame on them. The question was- “The Study of Mountains is Called?” and the answer was shown in the key as “Oncology”. It sent shock waves down to the spines of educated fraternity and rightly so- how illogical of the resource persons who couldn’t check the gross error in time. Such leniency cannot and must not be taken for granted. They must pay the price for it.
I admit that it will be totally unfair to paint everything with the same brush. However my point is aimed at selective people who derive support from bureaucrats to earn their position in any competitive exams leaving behind the hard working and deserving candidates.
In fact, the results of main exam of KAS are epic of many truths, half-truths and several follies. Some people went to the extent of saying “It is a lottery”. Are these competitive exams in real sense a lottery? Have those officers of our state passed this exam just merely by a stroke of luck?
The future of any nation depends on its youth and they share the bedrock of any state. It is them who can mould the fate of a state and it is possible when the system offers them a fair chance. When you show impartiality and objectivity in dealing with their issues, give them a chance and see what they can come up with. We have many aspiring and promising people here in Kashmir but just because of the leniency of the system in place, their dreams often shatter.
The write is a student and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org