Rehbar-e-Khel selection runs into controversy in Budgam as candidates allege skewed process

Rehbar-e-Khel selection runs into controversy in Budgam as candidates allege skewed process
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Those with high qualifications rejected for simple degree holders

BUDGAM: While a total of 171 candidates were selected under the Rehbar-e-Khel (ReK) scheme in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district a week ago, allegations over irregularities in the process have sparked a row, with candidates alleging “favouritism” and “nepotism” in the selection list.
The selection list was circulated via WhatsApp on January 2, last Wednesday, by the Youth Services and Sports Department. Following public outcry, the list was later published in a daily newspaper, after a gap of two days.
The list revealed that several highly qualified candidates were left out of the Rehbar-e-Khel scheme selection while simple degree holders were picked instead.
The selection list has faced sharp criticism from various quarters, while candidates who did not find a place have termed it “unfair” and “fixed”.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, scores of aggrieved candidates have shown strong resentment over what they call the district administration’s biased selection list and have demanded a fair investigation.
“Candidates having PhD degrees, MPhil degrees or post-graduate degrees in Physical Education have been thrown out of the selection list, while candidates with a simple degree in the subject have been selected as Rehbar-e-Khel,” the annoyed candidates alleged.
“For example, in Education Zone Magam, 58 candidates had filed applications, out of which six were holding MPhil degrees. However, out of the total 17 selected candidates, only two MPhil candidates are in while the other four candidates have been dropped,” said a rejected candidate from Magam zone.
The candidates further alleged that the final selection list – a copy of which is posted on the Youth Sports and Services Budgam notice board – has only one signature on it. However, the selection committee panel constituted four members, including the former deputy commissioner Budgam.
So the list that has been finalised seems to have been doctored, they said.
While demanding a fair probe into the selection list, the candidates are requesting the Deputy Commissioner, the Governor and other concerned officials to order the probe so justice is delivered.
A candidate with an MPhil in Physical Education alleged that the “corrupted” officials gave minimum marks to qualified candidates in the interview while simple graduates were awarded 15 out of 15.
The candidates termed the government’s action “heart-burning” and “pathetic” and said that highly-qualified candidates were given zero marks or minimum marks deliberately in order to accommodate pre-decided candidates as Rehbar-e-Khel.
There is another flaw in the list, a candidate said. All the interview panel members put their signatures on the selection list for Shopian, declared days before the Budgam district list which has only the signature of the Director General, Youth Services and Sports.
Last week, the candidates had staged a protest on Friday in the vicinity of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Budgam and had demanded her intervention.
According to the candidates, the DC had assured them that all the flaws would be sorted out within a week. However, four days have elapsed and there seems to be no development yet, they said.
The candidates have meanwhile knocked on the door of the High Court, asking for its intervention.