Undo the Injustice: Restore the KAS age criteria

Undo the Injustice: Restore the KAS age criteria

An appeal to the Governor’s administration to ensure parity with other states/UTs, in the spirit of ‘Sab ka Sath, Sab ka Vikas’

The Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) examination is conducted by the J&K Public Services Commission (PSC). The process of this examination takes minimum one year for its completion, subject to litigation, weather conditions, and ‘normalcy’ in the valley. The frequent delay in completion of the examination process results in the PSC unable to complete the final list in time and then notify the next examination. Also, the time table of competitive examinations that are to be held on a yearly basis also gets disturbed to a large extent. The main examples of this are in the years 2016 and 2018. In this mess, loss of time and years of age are never compensated, especially of those candidates who are at the borderline of the upper age limit.
The KAS examination was synchronised in 2018 with that of the central UPSC in matters of syllabus, to avoid the mess created in the 2016 examination, so that candidates are evaluated on uniform lines without any bias. This synchronisation was fine and much required. However, the erstwhile state government wrongly reduced the age criteria, which was neither needed nor required. Rather, it was a defective alteration with the already framed age criteria. The new age criteria is nowhere else found in the country, be it in MPPSC, OPSC, UPPSC or other exams.
The trouble-torn region of J&K state consumes enough time of the youth here, and then COVID19 has affected all sections of society continuously for two years, especially in the education sector. Thus the candidates in competitive examinations have been badly hit by circumstances as well as by the reduced age criteria. As the unemployment percentage is growing at a terrific pace in J&K, aspirants who have been preparing for the KAS examination for two or three years need to be encouraged to face the competition on equal terms by restoring their upper age limit, as followed by other states’ PSCs.
The government is doing a commendable job since 2019, with recruiting agencies like SSRB and PSC conducting examinations on war footing. PSC is also now trying its best to conduct examinations well in time. There is no doubt on that aspect of intention and accountability. There has been a paradigm shift in administration, and in coming years there will tremendous progress in every sphere of the UT. But this will require still much more time. As youth of the region are the priority of the government, therefore to give wings to the youth the government must restore the earlier set age criteria for KAS examination, which stands at 37 years for open merit and 40 years for category sections. This will allow more of them to prove their mettle in the examinations.
The Governor’s administration is requested to kindly look into this burning issue which is directly linked to the future of aspirants. The age criteria must be brought at par with other PSC commissions of our country, so that the real essence of “SAB KA SATH SAB KA VIKAS” motto is realised in the real spirit.

The writer has a PG in Philosophy, a PG in English, and a BEd degree. [email protected]

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