JKPSC to slash application fee

JKPSC to slash application fee
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‘Commission not getting funds from state govt’

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) – the recruitment agency for gazetted posts in the state – is likely to slash the application fee for the posts.
Officials however opine that the decision should not be taken in haste as the candidates’ fee, in absence of government funding, was the only financial source to conduct the examinations.
Chairman JKPSC Lateef-uz-Zaman Deva told Kashmir Reader that a committee has been constituted to make recommendations on the “minimum fee” to be charged on the candidates.
“The committee will look into all the aspects including the requirements (for conducting examinations),” he said.
The committee, Deva said, will “shortly” file its report.
He informed that the commission charged Rs 800 as application fee from candidates belonging to general category while candidates from reserved categories are given 50 percent rebate. The physically handicapped candidates are exempted, he added.
The JKPSC’s proposal to slash the application fee is despite the commission not getting any funds from the state government to conduct the examinations.
Deva informed, “Whatever we require for conducting examinations and interviews, the entire cost is borne by the candidates. State is not bearing the cost”.
Deva lamented that unlike the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and “most of the state public service commissions” which receive government funding for conducting examinations, the JKPSC was not getting any funds from the state government.
He said the UPSC and the state public service commissions charged “only processing fee” from the students. “Still, we feel there is justification for some concession, so we constituted a committee,” he said.
A top official at the JKPSC told Kashmir Reader on the condition of anonymity that board members at the commission also were of the opinion that the application fee “seems to be on the higher side as compared to other state public service commissions”.
In absence of the state government’s funding to conduct the exams, the official however emphasised that the decision to slash application fee “should not be taken in such haste that we are not able to conduct examinations”.
“Other PSCs get funding from the government as well. If somebody gets funding that can meet the expenditure on the examinations, then you can think of any scale of fee which can be nominal. But in our case, we have to do everything out of this revolving examination fund,” he said.
The expenditures on the examinations, as per the official, “were totally met out of the examination fee”.
He said there was a need to look whether there is a balance between the fee and the expenditure on the examinations.
“This decision will have to be taken after seeing the input and the expenditure, and the fee structure adopted by other commissions where there is no government funding,” he added.