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Over 800 central laws became applicable in J&K after it got UT status: Jitendra Singh

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‘Union ministers will soon start visiting J&K to review development activities’

Srinagar: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said more than 800 central laws have become applicable to Jammu and Kashmir after it got the Union Territory status.

Speaking after the inauguration of a semi-virtual regional conference on “replication of good governance practices” in Srinagar, attended by 750 officers from 10 states, he said the Modi government is committed to transparency and “justice for all”.

“People-friendly reforms taken in the last seven years have benefitted the entire country including people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, said.

He cited several governance initiatives undertaken by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, including the long-pending cadre review, establishment of CAT benches, extension of RTI Act and conduct of the common eligibility test through the National Recruitment Agency at every district headquarter in the UT.

Singh said the capacity building of 2,000 civil servants in collaboration between National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and the Jammu and Kashmir Institute of Management Public Administration and Rural Development (IMPARD) will be undertaken, a Personnel Ministry statement said.

He said the objective of the regional conference being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) was to familiarise officers with best governance practices.

Singh said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India adopted the “minimum government maximum governance” paradigm which is being cited and commended all over the world with civil servants from across the world visiting India to pursue internships.

“This regional conference coming one week after the all-party meet chaired by Prime Minister with the objective of promoting grassroots democracy and provide impetus to development has considerable significance with the adoption of the conference resolution titled ‘Behtar Nizam-e-Hukumat’ that will seek to ensure justice for all persons and regions of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Singh announced the development of a district-level good governance index on the lines of the national good governance index, capacity building of 2,000 civil servants in collaboration between NCGG and IMPARD and a national conference to be conducted on governance in Jammu & Kashmir in the year.

He also released the DARPG’s e-magazine titled ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance (MGMG)’, comprising write-ups on administrative innovations during the inaugural session.

The minister also witnessed the exchange of an MOU between NCGG and IMPARD for capacity building of 2,000 civil servants, the statement said.

He further said that a team of four Union ministers will soon start visiting Jammu and Kashmir every week to review development activities in the union territory and carry feedback of the public as well as the administration for the consideration of the central government.

He said the team will comprise two ministers each for the Jammu and Kashmir regions.

“We are very soon going to start the touring of the central ministers in the UT. We did that experiment in the month of January when we had about 35 central ministers travelling here within one week or month. They also got back with a good experience, it was great exposure for the people of the UT as well as the officers,” Singh said.

Singh said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had proposed that instead of sending 35 ministers together, two ministers should visit the UT every week.

“So, we have decided two ministers for Jammu division, two for Kashmir and we are also going to do this for Ladakh. We are already working it out with the chief secretary. They (ministers) will be evaluating their own departmental projects, also carrying back the feedback of the public as well as the administration for the consideration of the central government,” he said.

The minister said there would be a common eligibility test (CET) for recruitment very soon and the “very important” initiative is going to start from this year which has been possible only because of a visionary Prime Minister like Narendra Modi.

“We are sure because this is a part of the UT, so we will have it here also. We are going to have a common eligibility test for recruitment. We are trying our best, we had given ourselves a timeline of September but got late because of COVID,” he said.

Singh said what happened before was that there was a selection test of railways one day, banking the other day and there was a clash of dates and centres.

“Also everybody cannot afford it. We have taken a revolutionary decision that there will be only one test and the centre will be available in each of the districts, at least one centre,” he said.

Singh said there would be at least one centre in each of the 20 districts of J&K and, if required, on the suggestions of the LG and the Chief Secretary, there could be more than one centre also.

“It will provide a level-playing field. You will not have to spend money to go far away from home for a test,” he added.

Singh said the CET is inspired by the same thought as NEET or IIT-JEE.

“An eligibility list, merit list will be made. We have set up a national recruitment agency (NRA) for that. A secretary has been appointed, the chairman will be appointed very shortly. That list will be valid for three years so that there is no need for taking another test for three years and no money is to be spent.

“You will know where your ranking is and whenever a new post is there, you apply depending on your ranking. The employer and the employee will have a very transparent way of recruitment. So, that is something new which is coming here,” he said.

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