Though the Union Territory government has been making tall claims regarding the curbing of the corruption in the UT and has even declared August 5 as ‘Bharshtachar Mukti Diwas’, the ground realities seem totally different. The recruitment scams have been making headlines and some of such cases are already being investigated into and some arrests too have been made. It is alleged by the aspirants that some top officials are involved in all the recruitment scams and they expect LG administration to hounor its promise of fighting corruption by naming and shaming those involved and taking action against them as per the law of the land.
Corruption and malpractices in recruitment processes is alarming. Jammu and Kashmir is face to face with a grave challenge of unemployment and in absence of any avenues of employability, the youth are looking towards the government and its recruitment agencies with the hope that the deserving candidates will get a chance. However, the way the frauds withing the recruitment processes are surfacing, it has completely shaken the aspirants as they have lost all hope of fair play.
It may be mentioned here that the High Court on Thursday directed the Union Territory administration to constitute a high-level committee to enquire into the conduct of J&K Service Selection Board (SSB) for the brazen irregularities in changing the terms of a tender to award contract to M/s Aptech Limited (a blacklisted agency) for conducting examinations to various posts in J&K. The court observed that the functioning of SSB does not inspire confidence in holding public examinations. It has become incumbent on all stakeholders to review the functioning of the Board.The court was hearing a writ petition by some aspirants who responded to the advertisement for various examinations to be conducted by the Board. Two such examinations are Junior Engineer (civil), Jal Shakti Department and Sub-Inspector (Home Department). The petitioners prayed direction requiring the government not to conduct the examination through M/s Aptech Limited, blacklisted in the past. The examinations were tentatively scheduled to be conducted from December 05 to December 20, 2022. The court quashed the contract awarded by the Board in favor of the tainted company and cancelled all the exams including the Junior Engineer (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub Inspector (Home Department) to be held by the Board through M/s Aptech Limited directing the government to constitute a high-level committee headed by not less than a retired High Court judge to enquire into the conduct of SSB for the their brazen irregularities/illegalities in changing the terms/conditions of the tender, also as to what weighed with them to award a contract to conduct an examination by an organization which has previously facilitated malpractices in public examinations, and accordingly appropriate action be initiated against those found guilty. Though this single bench judgement was stayed by a double bench on Friday and the exams of all selections, including SIs will continue from Saturday through the same agency but the results will not be out till disposal of petition, the very fact that aspirants reached the court about the process indicates that something is not well within the recruitment system.
There seems a huge gap between making claims about fighting corruption and initiating a genuine fight. It is high time that UT administration takes the issue seriously and understands the gravity of the issue. Youths are the future of the UT and it is their future that is at stake if the unscrupulous elements within the administration are having a free hand to indulge in mal practices. It is time that action is taken against the erring officials and a fair system of recruitment is introduced to restore the faith of the educated unemployed youth.