JAVEID HASSAN MALIK
Last month, an Indonesian man killed his neighbor just for the reason that she used to repeatedly question him about marriage. This annoyed him so much that he strangled her to death. It seems like I too am headed toward the same path. It has become a matter of routine for me that every time I meet someone, the first question I have to face is, “that are you doing nowadays?”. (Even the though the person knows I am hibernating at home to prepare for the KAS exam from last one and half year yet they repeatedly go on asking). But, all said and done, it isn’t their fault as my case begs the issue: a person who should have been an earning hand for his family is made to stay at home courtesy the lengthy recruitment procedures of the JKPSC which has made a hell out of my life (and innumerable others) with its callous approach towards our future, by postponing the exam every now and then.
It was in 2016 that the JKPSC advertised posts for the KAS exams by adding the flavor of fast track recruitment to it but now we are in the third year and the JKPSC is yet to complete the first phase of the exam. The recruitment process which could have been finished in 12 months is strangled by controversies right from start to till now. The said organization is taking full advantage of its autonomous status and has put the career of thousands of candidates at the crossroads of uncertainty.
My saga is the microcosm of nearly six thousand candidates whose hopes are getting shattered with every non-sensical move of the moribund JKPSC. Before the advertisement of KAS posts, I was working happily as teacher at a salary of Rs. 18000 per month but after the advertisement of KAS posts, I bid adieu to my job to focus and concentrate on the KAS. I had very good beginning as I passed the preliminary exam with ease and at no point I had any regret about leaving my job as I was thinking about long term gain over short term loss.
The preparation for the mains was going on smoothly till the JKPSC began what they are famous for, the business of postponement of exams and it has been going on from June 2017 and is going on with no certainly about the exam in the coming times. The entire controversy could have been avoided had the JKPSC uploaded the so called divine answer key which says, study of mountains is called Oncology, but they didn’t and currently whole JKPSC has become butt of curses.
Now, my current status is that I am another frustrated aspirant with a whole load of issues: I can’t plan and I am unable to think about any other alternative job opportunities as frustration of the KAS has eviscerated my grey matter. I can’t return to my job which has been already taken by some lucky man. I am at an age where I should have been earning and supporting my family but I have become a parasitic liability on my family as I contribute zero and consume tons. Though, my family never expresses it before me but I often eavesdrop their conversations which reveal that my mistakes and I have been put in the stock of liabilities. It would have been a blessing in disguise had I also failed in prelims like my other friends who are now adjusted in government jobs but, alas, I got stuck in the quagmire of the much hyped KAS exam like a man caught between the devil and the deep sea.
We live in times where accountability and transparency are used as catch phrases to describe any government institution, but our highest recruiting agency JKPSC is bypassing transparency and believes in the paradoxical phrase of transparency in secrecy. If I say that the JKPSC is entangled in the web of corruption, it wouldn’t be wrong. But before, I am sought out for a defamation case, let me be clear about this obnoxious corruption phrase: corruption is not only getting money for selecting a candidate of choice but the corruption I am talking about has contours beyond this; it includes not advertising the vacant posts on time, voluntary delay in completion of recruitment process on time and so on. In this sense then, the JKPSC occupies the top slot. To prevent current and future misery of thousands of students, it is therefore high time for powers that be to categorize this organization as defunct and let the UPSC take over its reins. There are provisions in constitution which allows this. If the Governor finds that the organization is not functioning smoothly then it can be done. Let the good deed be done and let thousands be spared from agony.
Post script: I have surrendered my KAS hopes; I am gearing to search for some job so that I don’t have to wait another year.
—The author holds an Msc in Chemistry. He is also NET/SLET qualified and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org