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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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Panchayat Polls I: Fate of 6,378 candidates to be decided today

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 16: The first of the nine-phase panchayat polls would begin from Saturday to decide the fate of 6,378 candidates.
The nine-phase panchayat polls will be held in the state to 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch.
For the first phase being held on Saturday, a total of 1,886 nominations — 713 in Kashmir and 1,173 in the Jammu division — were received for sarpanch halqas.
The polls will be held in 47 blocks, 26 in Kashmir and 21 in Jammu region.
The electorate will decide the fate of 6,378 candidates, comprising 427 for the sarpanch and 5,951 for panch.
In the Ladakh region, at least 10 blocks, including six in Leh and four in Kargil, will go to the polls. In these blocks, there are around 33 panchayats having at least 110 polling stations. For seven panchayats, the administration will have to requisition helicopters to ferry the polling staff to their respective polling stations.
As per the schedule of the polls, the snow-bound and far flung areas are going for polls in the first phase.
In the first phase, the elections will be held in the snowbound areas including Keran, Ramhal, Teetwal, Tangdar, Gurez, Baktoor, Tulail, Kunzer, Uri, Perenpillan, Noorkhan, Kandi Belt Rafiabad, and Gund.
Out of four panchayat constituencies of Srinagar, polls will be held at Khanmoh.
In district Budgam, polls will be held at Khansahib.
At the same time, most of the areas where there is a larger presence of militancy will face elections in the last phases. The elections will not be held in four districts of south Kashmir on Saturday.
The polling for next eight phases will be held on November 20, 24, 27, 29, December 1, December 4, December 8, and December 11.
The number of electorate in panchayat polls would be 5854208 and poll timing would be from 8 am to 2 pm.
Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra has said that counting of votes would be done on the day of polling and in some cases, if required, the counting would take place the next day. “The voting would be done with ballot papers. In view of recent amendments making direct election to sarpanch, the electors shall cast their votes for panch as well as sarpanch, for which two separate coloured ballot papers will be used,” he has said.
The entire polls process would be completed by December 17.
The nine-phase panchayat polls in the state to 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch constituencies.
An official at Chief Electoral Office said that authorities want to complete the elections to consider the difficulties faced by people living in snow-bound areas and to ensure maximum participation.
“We have taken into consideration about the possibility of weather condition,” the official added.
“There are many areas which remain cut off during winters. We have taken all ground realities into consideration,” the official said.
The panchayat elections are being held in J&K after a gap of seven years. The last elections were conducted in 2011 and the panchayats had completed their five-year term in 2016.

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SC to hear plea challenging Art 370 in April

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Nov 16: The Supreme Court Friday said it will hear in April a plea challenging the validity of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, following a request by the state and the Centre.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said it will hear the matter in the first week of April 2019 after Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, sought adjournment on the ground that the current situation is very sensitive.
“The political situation in the state is such that the matter should not be heard at this time,” he said.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for Jammu and Kashmir said that a letter has been circulated seeking adjournment due to the ongoing nine-phase Panchayat polls in the state.
To this, the bench said that it can tag the matter along with a batch of pending petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, under which special rights and privileges are granted to the “permanent residents” of the state.
The suggestion of the bench was opposed by the counsels for the state saying that the two issues are different entirely and the plea should not be tagged along with Article 35A pending petitions.
The bench then posted the matter for further hearing in first week of April, 2019.
On April 3, the apex court had said that Article 370 of the Constitution is not a temporary provision.
The top court had said that in its earlier verdict of 2017 in the SARFESI case, it has been already held that Article 370 was “not a temporary provision”.
“The issue concerned is covered by the judgement of this court in the 2017 SARFAESI matter, where we have held that despite the headnote of Article 370, it is not a temporary provision,” the court had said.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha, against the Delhi High Court’s April 11, 2017 order dismissing the plea seeking a declaration that Article 370 is temporary in nature.
The petitioner had claimed before the high court that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in 1957.
The petition had said that the continuance of the temporary provision of Article 370 even after dissolution of Constituent Assembly of J&K, and that of J&K Constitution which has never got the assent of the President of India or Parliament or the government of India, “amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution”.

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Democracy biggest casualty in Kashmir: Mirwaiz

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Srinagar, Nov 16: Chairman of Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said that Hurriyat believed in democracy but not in the one prevalent in Kashmir.
Addressing gatherers during Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid Mirwaiz said that the elections in Kashmir were a “drama”.
“Kashmir will once again reject the sham polls commencing from November 17 in the same way they out rightly rejected the Urban Local Body polls and send a message to one and all that people of Kashmir reject farcical exercises,” he said.
Mirwaiz added that holding elections has “no meaning” for in a place where all basic human democratic political and even religious rights of people are “trampled are usurped through military might”.
“Where democracy itself is the biggest casualty, in such a place what can local or any election achieve,” he asked.
Mirwaiz said a “strange kind of democracy” is in practice in Kashmir.
“At the behest of lakhs of state forces present here with unbridled powers given to them and absolute immunity from all accountability. They can barge into any house and kill anybody at their whim and will and or tie a civilian to jeeps as human shields and be rewarded for it,” he said.
Mirwaiz said no one was averse to elections since it is an established democratic practice across the globe where people exercise their choice and decide who and how they want to be ruled.
“But in Kashmir that is not the case. It is used as a means to continue forced rule,” he said adding that elections will continue to be “futile exercise in Kashmir unless democracy is not restored and allowed to flourish in the real sense”.
“And the first step to that is to allow people of disputed J&K to decide their fate by giving them the basic right to self-determination,” he added.
Mirwaiz urged people to observe complete strike on November 17 and to follow the Joint Hurriyat’s protest and shutdown program announced for the poll bound areas on Election Days.
Meanwhile after Friday prayers Mirwaiz visited the residence of Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s to condole the demise of his eldest son-in –law Ghulam Hassan Makhdoomi, who passed away recently after a brief spell of illness at SKIMS, Soura.
Mirwaiz also offered special fateh prayers for the deceased and prayed for highest standards in Jannah for him.

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