KAS 2016: 40,000 candidates from Jammu, just 14,000 from Kashmir
Courtesy Burhan turmoil 4,000 applications from Valley without fee payment; BSNL too adds to the Kashmiri candidates’ trauma
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Nov 6: Having notified the maximum number of vacancies in the last five years in 2016 — 277 precisely — the Jammu and Kashmir State Public Service Commission has failed to receive balanced response to the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) competitive examination due to the ongoing street turbulence in Kashmir valley. Consequently, the selection process that would have been completed before December this year, is now likely to be staggered to the middle of 2017.
The PSC Notification No: PSC/EXM/2016/52 Dated 18-06-2016 had stipulated July 25 as the last date for submission of applications and fee/bank challan.
Chairman PSC, Lateef-uz-Zamaan Deva, told STATE TIMES that the entire selection process was disturbed by the four-month-long turbulence in Kashmir valley as everything from the government offices to the banks and the Internet was shut down. While as the response from Jammu division was fairly positive, notwithstanding some disruption in Chenab valley besides Rajouri and Poonch districts, very small number of the candidates were able to submit their forms from Kashmir.
Even as the last date was extended indefinitely and the aspirants were still free to file their candidature online, just 14,000 applications had been received from Kashmir province from June 22 to November 6. “Around 4,000 candidates have submitted their applications without the mandatory fee or the bank challan. I have taken up this issue with Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank who is making necessary arrangements to facilitate making of the bank challans and transfer of the fee money through online system”, Mr Deva said.
Chairman PSC informed that 37,000 to 40,000 applications had been received from Jammu province. He said that the aspirants from any part of the State were free to submit their application and fee as no last had been fixed for it.
Mr Deva said that he had personally requested the Deputy Commissioners to facilitate submission of the forms through their Internet system at the district headquarters. However, most of the candidates failed as many of them could not even travel to the DC’s office. Even at the DC’s offices, the Internet remained either fully shut or partly disturbed.
Of the 277 notified vacancies, as many as 269 are for the first time in last several years reserved for Junior KAS. Just 2 vacancies are for Kashmir Police Service and 6 for J&K Accounts Service, making it attractive for most of the eligible graduates in the State.
Even as the landline broadband service of BSNL remained functional during the turmoil, it was completely shut for minimum of 10 days twice, around August 15th and thereafter around Eid-ul-Azha.
When the broadband service was restored, each time the candidates failed to submit their forms as BSNL slashed down speed of all of its high payment plans without any notification or plausible reason. Insiders say that the broadband speed has been drastically reduced “for security reasons”. According to them, the authorities wanted to ensure that the subscribers were not able to download or upload heavy data files like videos of the anti-national demonstrations and clashes.
Surprisingly, it has been observed that the broadband services are not allotted to the subscribers even after allotment of security keys and configuration of modems on their landlines. In the summer capital of Srinagar, Gogjibagh and Sanat Nagar Exchanges have charged plan tariff of September and October from the subscribers whose broadband services have not been made operational in the last two months even after the orders had been issued from GM’s office and their modems had been configured.
Some of the subscribers, who have applied for broadband services in Jawahar Nagar area, alleged that the BSNL officials had created conditions in which the facilities could be activated only for the people who paid bribes. STATE TIMES itself has applied for broadband service in the month of October. Even as the order has been issued, the service has not been activated in the last 36 days. Strangely, BSNL has charged plan fee of Rs 1,000 for the month of October inspite of the fact that the landline phone has been made operational only on October 25 and the broadband service has not been made operational till November 6.
SDET Gogjibagh Showkat Ahmad claimed that no port for any new applicant was available in Rajbagh-Sanat Nagar area. Repeated attempts to talk to the higher authorities failed as none of them responded to phone calls or text messages. SDET Sanat Nagar exchange Ms Aaliya too did not respond to any phone call or SMS as the culture of accountability and public service has ceased to exist in BSNL Kashmir after flood of September 2014. GM and Dy DM Kashmir ignored all the phone calls and text messages from this newspaper.
Internet services of almost all the private telecommunication companies have remained shut on both prepaid as well as post-paid plans of mobile telephony in Kashmir since July 8.