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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Governor’s rule doesn’t care two hoots for PSC rules

Just one out of 40 Govt. departments responds to PSC letter; Babus sitting over vacancies for years and decades; Blue-eyed boys continuing indefinitely on stop-gap arrangement

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, March 2: Administrative secretaries of all the Government departments are bound by the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service (reference of vacancies and holding of meetings of Departmental Promotion Committees) Rules 2005, notified by the Government on June 14th, 2005, to refer all the gazetted and non-gazetted posts, falling vacant in a particular year, to the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (PSC) and Services Selection Board (SSB) respectively every year by 15th of January for the purpose of making direct recruitment without delay.

Rule 2 says: “The departments shall refer vacancies falling under direct recruitment quota to the Public Service Commission and Services Selection Board, as the case may be, by the 15th of January every year”.

Under Rule 3, all the Administrative Departments are bound to submit Annual Status Reports to the General Administration Department (GAD) by 31st of January every year reflecting therein the number and status of the vacancies, posts referred for direct recruitment or promotion to the PSC, SSB and other recruitment committees and Departmental Promotion Committees (DPCs).

Since most of the bureaucrats had been sitting over the vacancies over the last many years and very few of them had shown respect for the statutory regulations in Omar Abdullah’s and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s governments, Chairman PSC Lateef-uz-Zaman Deva asked his team of officials to ensure that all the administrative secretaries adhere to the obligation. Vide No: PSC/Adm/Misc/2015, Dated 27-11-2015, Secretary PSC mailed a communication to Commissioner-Secretary GAD, requesting him to collect the vacancies from respective departments and furnish same to the PSC.

The PSC communication pointed out that the 2005  Rules were a fall-out of the Supreme Court of India decision in case titled Suraj Prakash Gupta & Others versus State of J&K and Others. It observed: “An exercise undertaken by the Commission reveals that the aforesaid Rules have been violated by almost all the departments except General Administration Department”.

Sensing the politicians’ and the bureaucrats’ vested interest in perpetuating the infamous stop-gap arrangement, Secretary PSC recorded in the letter: “Under Rules of 2005, the tendency to institute stop-gap arrangement against promotion quota and make-shift arrangements against direct recruitment quota was intended to be checked but the same does not seem to have fructified and in the process there is apprehension that vacancies which have become due for direct recruitment have gone un-utilized paving way for make-shift arrangements by the Administrative Departments which is being resorted to as a convenient method to perpetuate ad-hoc system at the cost of direct recruitments and at times, to obviate the need for production of documents statutorily required for utilization of promotion quota”.

“It concluded: “I am directed to request you kindly to impress upon all the Administrative Secretaries to adhere to the Rules of 2005 and meanwhile furnish information in accordance with the format given hereunder below with effect from 1-7-2005”.

In a startling disclosure on Wednesday, Chairman PSC Mr Deva revealed to STATE TIMES, in response to a question, that out of over 40 Government Departments, only the Cooperative Department had responded to the PSC missive and furnished the information in the last three months. “I am shortly going to take up the matter of this non-cooperation with His Excellency, the Governor. I am left with no other option”, Mr Deva asserted. “We have started to work with unflinching commitment and we will ensure that all the vacancies are referred to PSC and all the selections made within minimum possible time”.

Mr Deva said that some 650 posts of Lecturers were currently lying vacant in Higher Education Department. Actual number of vacancies of Range Officers Grade-I and ACFs in Forest and related departments, where most of the junior and less qualified incumbents have been working on stop-gap arrangement [“incharge ROs”, “incharge ACFs” and “incharge DCFs”] since long in brazen violation of the Supreme Court directions, was still not known. This newspaper has reported how just 59 ROs and 84 ACFs have been recruited under direct quota in Forest Department in 32 years--- from 1984 to 2016.

As reported in Wednesday’s issue of STATE TIMES, previously the PSC has spent 7 to 9 years in making selection of a small number of Range Officers-I and Assistant Conservators of Forest (ACFs) for Forest Department. Principal Secretary Forest Rakesh Kumar Gupta is among the administrative secretaries who have treated the PSC communication with contempt.

More surprisingly, even the services regulator, GAD, has not furnished the list of the posts fallen vacant under its own jurisdiction. Commissioner-Secretary GAD Gazzanfer Hussain did not respond to a call. However, a middle-rung bureaucrat insisted that GAD had lately completed its own exercise and compiled a list of 250 to 300 junior KAS posts. According to him, these vacancies would be referred to PSC in about a week for making selection through J&K Combined Services Competitive Examination.

Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma maintained that he had no knowledge why the administrative secretaries had not referred the vacancies to the PSC. “There are standing instructions that all the vacancies should be referred to the PSC without delay. I will check if there has been any default and if yes why”, Mr Sharma told STATE TIMES.


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