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Furore over Guv’s remark: Open to public scrutiny, says JK Bank

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Srinagar, Oct 28: A day after reports attributed to the J&K Governor about ‘illegal’ recruitment in jobs in the J&K Bank, the bank chairman said that there is no scope of tinkering with any selection list.

The Bank chairman Parvaiz Ahmad said that the Governor has been misquoted by the reports.

In a series of tweets, JK Bank Chairman Sunday said: “Absolute transparency & fairness in the recruitment process. There is no scope of any tinkering in the merit list prepared by the reputed national level professional recruitment agency IBPS. Open to public scrutiny on this.”

 

“Comments of the Governor have been quoted out of context by a newspaper. 582 candidates have been appointed by clearing the waiting list from the previous recruitment process on account of vacancies arisen due to branch expansion in unbanked areas of J&K state,” he tweeted.

In yet another tweet, JK Bank Chairman said “Waiting list cleared as per the directions of the Governor as the candidates were on the verge of overage.”

&K Bank has maintained absolute transparency and fairness in the recruitment process. There is no scope of any tinkering in the merit list prepared by the reputed national level professional recruitment agency, the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). The bank is open to public scrutiny on this.

Meanwhile, the Bank’s official spokesperson added that all the recruitments for the entry level clerks and officers are undertaken via written examination conducted by the national level professional recruitment agency (IBPS), which is an autonomous body set up to evolve and implement world class processes of assessment and selection.

The procedure adopted by the Bank, as per the spokesperson, is in complete alignment with the standard procedure adopted by all nationalized Public Sector Banks.

“Timely intimations regarding all stages of recruitments are issued in the form of public notifications and electronic intimations to candidates. There is no scope of any form of manipulation in the selection with strong systems and procedures ensuring absolute sanctity to the process,” the spokesperson said.

He further stated that the vacancies had arisen on account of an aggressive Branch Expansion plan in J&K”s underbanked and unbanked areas which stands duly approved by the Board of the Bank.

The plan envisages 200 more branches in the state. Besides, accrued shortfall on account of prior expansion and retirements in last two years necessitated recruitment of staff on immediate basis. The induction of waiting list candidates was done by the Bank as per the directions of the Governor in order to  fill Bank’s immediate short fall of staff requirements  and to fulfill the compassionate vision of the Governor for the over aging waiting list candidates.

Earlier on Saturday, Governor Malik, as per media reports, had revealed that during previous PDP-BJP government a complete selection list of 582 candidates in Jammu and Kashmir Bank was set aside to appoint political workers in their place.

He also raised question mark on the working of Public Services Commission (PSC) saying a youth was selected for KAS even without appearing in the examinations.

Malik revealed it during an interview with Times Now, adding that 40 youth approached him saying they had cleared all examinations and figured in the selection list of Jammu and Kashmir Bank but were replaced by relatives and workers of political parties.

“I called the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Chairman,” he said. “He told me that the number was not 40 but all 582 youths recruited by the Bank had been replaced with the political appointees, recommended by the leaders from every constituency. I asked the Bank Chairman to give the youth their due. I also called the Finance Secretary and finally a resolution was adopted and all 582 candidates have been given appointment letters.”

Raising serious question mark over functioning of the PSC which had been under clout for serious discrimination with Jammu region in all recruitments made during the PDP-BJP Government headed by Mehbooba Mufti, Malik said that a youth was selected for the KAS without appearing for the examination.

Taking a dig at the previous coalition government, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote on his Twitter: “More skeletons fall out of the cupboard – PDP-BJP changed the entire select list of J&K Bank to appoint favourites: Guv.”

 

Govt denies media report

Jammu, Oct 28: The State Government has denied a report that appeared in the Daily Excelsior Sunday in connection with an interview given by the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik, to a leading Delhi-based news channel on Saturday.

In a statement issued Sunday, an official spokesperson clarified that the Governor during his interview with the news channel did not name any political party in the context of appointments recently made by the Jammu & Kashmir Bank.

 

PSC didn’t recommend anyone: Deva

Srinagar, Oct 28: Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (PSC) Latief-u-Zaman Deva has categorically clarified that the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission has not recommended anyone without qualifying combined services examination (KAS) as reported in a section of media.

Talking to Kashmir News Service, Deva said “the public service commission has not recommended anyone for combined services (KAS) without qualifying the combined services examination (KAS). A media report which has said that one particular person has been recommended without qualifying combined services (KAS) examination for combined services (KAS) by Jammu and Kashmir Public service commission is totally baseless and just a figment of imagination.”

Pertinently the media reports quoted Governor Satya Pal Malik saying that an individual has been selected for KAS without even appearing in the said exam.

 


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JK’s liability swells

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Similar to previous years, Jammu and Kashmir has accrued a liability of over Rs 7,000 crore in the ongoing fiscal even as experts blame state’s political leadership for not finding a solution to the issue.

Official documents of the finance department reveal that the state is running a liability of Rs 7,531 crore so far this fiscal, a figure close to the annual build-up J&K witnesses every year.

The total liabilities for the state have now swelled up to over Rs 68,000 crore.“The three fiscal parameters–revenue deficit, fiscal deficit and outstanding liability–indicate the extent of overall fiscal balance in the finances of the state government during the specified period. The nature of deficit is an indicator of the prudence of budgetary policy of the state government. Another useful measure of the deficit-base in a state’s fiscal policy is the State’s Own Deficit (SOD),” the documents reveal.

 

Noted economist, Professor Nisar Ali said the state’s expenditure and revenue system has been “mismanaged”.“The power purchase has been an important factor for swelling liabilities. The GST has further increased the mismanagement between expenditure and tax revenue,” he said.

Prof Ali also blamed J&K’s political leadership for increasing liabilities.“The annual liabilities increase due to power purchases despite the state having huge hydro resources. The state’s leadership has failed to fight for the return of power projects.

“It also depends upon the government of India how it wants to find a solution to this problem,” he added.

Endorsing Prof Ali’s views, a senior official of the finance department said that little or no use of revenue generation avenues, increasing power purchases and bulging expenditure on salaries are the main contributors to the escalating liabilities of the state.“There is a steep rise in salary and pension bills, power deficit, rising interest liabilities, loan repayments, and deficit on account of non-tax revenue,” the official said.

 

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Conducive atmosphere inevitable for dialogue: Farooq

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the favourable atmosphere is inevitable for dialogue, which is the only way out to settle the issues.
Addressing party workers in Jammu, Dr Farooq said that the dialogue is the only way out to resolve the issues but there is a need of conducive atmosphere which is inevitable. He added that “under the shades of gun, no dialogue process is possible. We have to stop bullet culture for lasting peace in the region.”
“NC has also given priority to the people. When I became Chief Minister in 1996, I fought with many things as the school were shut, no bridge was there, no office was functioning as the people were frightened by the turmoil then, but I stood up to fight against the forces who were inimical to peace.”
About 35 percent reservation in other states, Dr Farooq said that the incumbent Chief Minister of Odissa, Naveen Patnayak has written to him, suggesting there should be reservation of 35 percentfor women in Jammu and Kashmir also. “We will implement the law, which will ensure 35 percent reservation to women in the State once getting into the power,” he said.
However, he said that it is not easy to take such decisions as when his government took a decision to make 50 percent reservation for girls in Medical College then some people knocked the door of Supreme Court to put halt over the decision.
Dr Farooq also appealed the party workers to work hard and ensure the win of NC leaders who will be contesting the elections.

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Abundant snowfall in January makes Gulmarg the perfect winter-destination for tourists

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Jan 17: Unlike last January, the abundant snowfall so far this month has attracted a lot of tourists to Gulmarg as the destination is brimming with over 90 per cent occupancy these days.

The valley has received at least four moderate to heavy snowfalls this year with an even stronger wet spell predicted from January 19 to 23.
Tourists from across the world are cherishing this and making their way to Gulmarg, whose slopes offer a perfect destination for skiing.

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, CEO Gulmarg Development Authority, Syed Hanief Balkhi said that most of the hotels are fully occupied as people are heading to Gulmarg to enjoy the charismatic scenery offered by the snow-covered hills.“Gulmarg is under 4-5 feet snow and is looking like a playground these days. Tourists from India and abroad enjoy skiing, snow cycling, ice skating, snow-sculptor activity, sledge-racing and other games here,” he said.

 

Apart from the hoteliers, the rush of the tourists, Balkhi said, has provided good workdays for sledge keepers, skating guides, local cab drivers and many others associated with tourism.

In 2018, as per the official figures, Gulmarg received 5.76 lakh tourists as compared to 5.69 lakh in the preceding year.

The tourism players also expressed satisfaction over the rush of tourists heading to the valley.

President Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation, Wahid Malik said that snowfalls have pushed up the number of tourists visiting the valley.
“Gulmarg saw lesser arrival when winters begun, however, now the snow has ensured all the hotels and resorts are booked,” he said adding that Gulmarg hotels are running on 90 per cent occupancy so far this season.

Gulmarg is declared the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’ by the Winter Games Federation. This year too, Gulmarg Tourism Authority is going to organise winter sports carnival starting from the first week of February.

Additional Director Tourism Department, Nasir Khan said that Gulmarg is “rocking these days as it has received 34,712 and 35,022 tourists in the month of November and December”.

“We are going to organize the winter carnival from the next month to make the place more attractive,” he said.

He added that night market and cultural shows will also be arranged by the department.

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