Although in a ‘Democratic Set up’, People’s will in the form of ‘Elected Representatives’ should be seen as the best way forward, but looking at the way things were moving particularly during the Last Two Years of P.D.P.-B.J.P. Coalition Government many see imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu & Kashmir through a positive lens. For P.D.P. Leaders the crumbling of P.D.P.-B.J.P. Coalition Government may have come as a surprise but for ‘Political Think-Tanks’ this was expected to happen because of the ‘Ideological Differences’ between the ‘Two Political Parties’. The fact of the matter is both P.D.P. and B.J.P. had no solid ‘Agenda’ or ‘Policy’ to move forward and were running the Government for the sake of being ‘Power’.
One could never feel the real essence of ‘Good Governance’ when it came to P.D.P.-B.J.P. Coalition Government. There was always a sense of uncertainty looming in one way or other during the P.D.P.-B.J.P. Coalition Government. Also for both P.D.P. and B.J.P., there was no proper control of the Party High Command over its Ministers. There was complete inability of the ‘Highest Office of Ruling Government’ to act against the ‘Corrupt Officials’ and in fact inability to act against its ‘Own Ministers’ who were seen flouting Rules and Recruiting people without following ‘Proper Recruitment Procedures’ or ‘Rules’. It seemed that the ‘Party High Command’ had given them the nod to go ahead with the ‘Politically Motivated Recruitments’. People with close ‘Political Affiliations’ with the Ruling Party were made Directors, some M.D.’s and what not. In fact P.D.P.-B.J.P. Coalition would be remembered for ‘Nepotism’ and ‘Cronyism’ approach.
Boards and Commissions were made as safe haven for Political Posts during P.D.P.-B.J.P. rule. Things would have looked somewhat acceptable, had the top posts being given to experts in the field but that was never the criteria of P.D.P.-B.J.P. Government for appointing Chairman / Vice Chairman / M.D. of Various Boards and Corporations and fact of the matter is that these people were appointed based on their ‘Political Affiliations’.
How can one forget about recent recruitments in ‘J&K KHADI VILLAGE BOARD’, where candidates who could never qualify any other Examination became extra-efficient for that very Examination only and many of the ‘Selectees’ turned out to be ‘Kith and Kin’ of Ruling Party Ministers. It’s worth mentioning here that even before the conduct of Interviews for the Khadi Village Posts, Media had already circulated the ‘Names’ that were going to be shortlisted but then Vice Chairman , J&K Khadi Village Board who himself was a ‘Political Appointee’ to the ‘Post’, was least bothered about the revelations made by Media. Being the former P.D.P. M.L.A. and Relative of Mufti Family, then Vice Chairman of J&K Khadi Village Board went ahead with his planned ‘Recruitment’ even when the Secretary Law who was appointed as ‘Controller Examination’ for ‘Khadi Village Board Examination’, wrote about his apprehensions of the unfair procedures being adopted for the said Examination. Although a probe was ordered because of the ‘Hue and Cry’ but even after Two months, the said probe is yet to be completed. Well for the probe committee, the said probe should have been completed within this Two month time period and the results should have been made public now.
Talking about one more prestigious Institution of the State, there is no denying to the fact that many people were absorbed in the ‘J&K Bank’ through backdoor appointments and the actual list of candidates who had applied for the ‘Post of Relationship Executive’ through proper Examination and Interview, was curtailed on the instructions of then Finance Minister who justified the curtailment of the list to the weak financial position of the Bank. But one fails to understand that how come the
weak financial position of the Bank was not taken into consideration when within a period of few months, Hundred’s of ‘Blue Eyed’ Candidates were absorbed in J&K Bank through ‘Back Door Appointments’. This type of healing touch was not the one that the ‘Youth and Common People’ of J&K expected from P.D.P.
There are countless such incidences where the aspirations of deserving candidates were crushed by the so called healing touch policy of the Government. Another ‘Corporation’ by the name ‘J&KAGRO’ had made some appointments few years back and an ugly truth about the ‘Recruitment Process’ was the fact that candidates with ‘Non Recognised Degrees’ were appointed as Assistant Managers. A case was registered in Crime Branch in this regard. The Preliminary Investigation Report’ of Crime Branch that came up in February,2018 had recommended for filing of a F.I.R. against ‘J&KAGRO’ but the same was side-lined on the orders of higher ups in the Crime Branch and investigation officer who had suggested for the filing F.I.R. was reprimanded for such report. Even there was a proper audio recording as proof where one of the senior officials of ‘J&KAGRO Corporation’ who was part of the scam, could be heard boosting about the fake recruitments and also could be heard revealing names of other officials involved in the said ‘Recruitment’ scam, but for ‘Crime Branch’ the proof was not enough to register a F.I.R. In fact ‘Crime Branch’ didn’t entertain the said ‘Audio Recording’ as proof because the higher ups in the ‘Crime Branch’ never wanted to book the politically connected corrupt officials of the ‘J&KAGRO’ who were involved in the said recruitment scam. This proves that organisations such as ‘Crime Branch’ are just ‘Puppet’ Organisations which are ‘Ruling Parties’ as per their convenience.
There are Hundreds of such instances which can be quoted where the P.D.P.-B.J.P. Government has failed to deliver justice and in fact they themselves have been part of the misdoings. Irony is this that all such incidents were bought to the notice of Chief Minister’s Office but no action was taken. In fact the ‘Grievance Cell’ that was established to address the grievances of common people did no good in delivering ‘Justice’. Looking at all such developments, imposition of ‘Governor’s Rule in J&K’ is being seen through a positive lens.
‘Corruption’ and ‘Nepotism’ in recruitment process is one of the main reasons that alienate ‘Youth’ in a society. Now as ‘Governor’s Rule’ has been imposed in J&K, common people have expectations from the Governor’s Office. Governor’s Office is expected to initiate immediate steps that would bring an end to ‘Nepotism’ and ‘Cronyism’ in the ‘Government Recruitments’. To help bring down ‘Nepotism’ and ‘Cronyism’ in recruitments, Governor’s Office is requested to look upon below mentioned points:
1.‘Vigilance’ and ‘Crime Branch’ Organisations should not be allowed to act as ‘Puppet Organisations’ in the hands of ‘Ruling Party’. In fact honest officers should be brought in to head these organisations. People with clean and honest record should be made part of such crucial organisations and proper approval of Governor’s Office should be adopted while allocating officers to serve such important organisations.
2.There should be an immediate probe in the recruitments made by Boards and Corporations during last Five years, especially J&KAGRO, J&KEDA, J&KBANK, J&K Khadi Village Board and J&K Tourism Corporation. And most importantly common people should be made part of the probe process by allowing them to contribute any proof they carry in order to make such probe effective. And all ‘Illegal and Backdoor Appointments’ should be cancelled in order to set an example for others. People involved in such ‘Recruitment Scam’ should be dealt with tough hands.
3.All ‘Political Posts’ that were filled up during last Five years should be made free and efficient people in the shape of Scholars, renowned ‘Academicians’ and ‘Experts’ of the field should be invited to occupy ‘Such Posts’.
4.Job Policy and S.R.O.’s that goes against the Youth/Job Seekers should be modified in a manner that benefits the masses.
5.Two Recruitment agencies of the State i.e. J&KPSC and J&KSSB should be reorganised and equipped with more staff in order to allow them serve efficiently.
6.Boards and Corporations which have become safe haven for politically motivated recruitments should not be allowed to conduct any recruitment on their own. Vacancies in Boards and Corporations should be filled using the services of J&KPSC or J&KSSB.
7.There is an immediate need of revising the ‘Recruitment Rules’ in Various Departments of the State as per the current standards. Many Departments in J&K State still follow the Recruitment Rules that have been framed almost Thirty years back and no sincere efforts has been made to amend these old recruitment rules, in spite of the fact that the J&K State has made huge progress in terms of ‘Educational Standards’ during these Thirty years. Today all Universities of J&K are offering ‘Specialised Courses’ so that the State Departments can have specialised professionals against the available Vacancies. But because of the fact that the process of changing the ‘Recruitment Rules’ is somewhat hectic in nature, the ‘Bureaucrats’ prefer to leave it as it is. What is the need of the ‘Specialised Degrees’ being offered by Universities when the Departments still want to stick to School Final and Graduation as eligibility for ‘Specialised Posts’? How can we expect these ‘Departments’ to excel when we can’t make space for professionals?
Hope the above mentioned points would be taken in right context and immediate steps would be taken by the ‘Governor’s Office’ in this regard.
(The writer is a columnist & Member of Indian Journalists’ Association)