Javeid Hassan Malik
In my previous article where I dwelt on the sorry state of affairs of the JKPSC, I had referred to myself as frustrated, hopeless and jobless. All the apprehensions that I had drawn about the JKPSC working as highest institution of recruitment have come true with the court’s directions to scrap whole mains examination. The court has directed the JKPSC to hold fresh MAINS exam with inclusion of additional 14000 candidates thus rendering all the previous mains papers null and void. This means that all the hard work put by candidates by burning midnight oil, all the hardships that they had to face to reach examination centres, all the ink that they used to write long crammed answers has been flooded and washed ashore. This is turning out to be a mockery of an exam which is there to select future permanent state executives. The whole mess started in 2016 is continuing till now.
It is disheartening to see that when public discourse was against holding this examination, when opinions were expressed through all the channels of communications to postpone this examination till courts verdict, but the JKPSC was adamant in holding this examination as they wanted cover their mistakes but ended up eating the proverbial humble pie and adding one more black blot on its credibility.
I appeared in three papers of discarded mains and for the hardships that I had to face I can sue them. On each exam day, I had to travel to Srinagar which cost me nearly three hundred rupees; for many , it might be small sum but for any unemployed youth it amounts to lakhs. So, will the JKPSC refund our travel expenses? The most significant loss was precious time. Way back in 2016, I sacrificed my hard earned savings to pursue this dream but after years I have gone from bad to worse. I have become a liability on society as I contribute nothing and consume everything.
Many candidates from the countryside were living as tenant in rented rooms in and around Srinagar to prepare for the said examination. Will the JKPSC pay them the rental charges that they had to incur? Many employed teachers were on leave for months to prepare for this examination, now will the government bear their leave by discharging from duties in middle of the session when new chapter of KAS mains examination will be held? All this and much more beg the answers from concerned authorities by aggrieved candidates.
Now, let us consider the loss suffered to the government exchequer by conducting this exam in a hurry even when the court had reserved its decision regarding the future course of action. Money spent on stationery for printing the examination papers, for wasting 75-page long answer sheets, for paying staff who were supervising the exam, for paying institutions in which the exams were held, for paying heating arrangements in exam halls and, last but not the least, for wasting the fuel and energy wasted of government vehicles in which babus were paying visits to exam centres. Certainly, it is an irreparable lose and counts in crores but who will make them accountable for the loss they have caused to the state? After all, it is our money which we are made to pay in the form of exam fee. If the government would have been serious , they should have taken Suo moto action against whole institution of the JKPSC including its incumbent chairman but it seems like that the JKPSC is enjoying patronage of government in creating this mess otherwise they couldn’t have dared to play with the careers of aspirants. The government could have easily cleared this mess by using executive authority of the Governor to level this institution null and void and transfer its powers to UPSC till the whole sage was cleared and the entire system was back on track. But, they too seem to be victims of postponing like our PSC (postpone service commission). Now, all the lines have been erased; it is too late now. If, tomorrow, the JKPSC chairman is transferred, it won’t make any sense as he as defamed the credibility of this institution beyond repair. There will be always a trust deficit when any candidate has to go through pipeline of JKPSC for jobs.
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org