J&K contract policy make job seekers insecure

J&K contract policy make job seekers insecure

The Jammu and Kashmir government is facing flak over its recruitment policy for about 15,000 appointments, including for the much coveted gazetted...

The Jammu and Kashmir government is facing flak over its recruitment policy for about 15,000 appointments, including for the much coveted gazetted posts. The catch: the jobs are on contract.

The decision to fast track 12,000 to 15,000 appointments to government jobs by by-passing the state public service commission (PSC) and the subordinate services recruitment board (SSRB) is attracting criticism and has left job seekers perplexed.
At its cabinet meeting held in winter capital Jammu on Sunday, the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed announced a new recruitment policy through which jobs of teachers, engineers, doctors and lower rank staff in government departments would be filled at the district level by various district development commissioners.
The policy, which was announced by state Education Minister Naeem Akhtar at a press conference after the cabinet meeting, envisages filling up these jobs on contractual basis for seven years after which, depending on the satisfactory performance of the engaged person, they would be given regular appointment.
The minister also said the intended posts both in the gazetted and the non-gazetted cadres of the state service would be in addition to those already referred to the PSC and SSRB for regular appointments.
The PSC is a constitutional body mandated to fill all gazetted cadre posts in the state through a fair process of selection. The PSC also holds competitive exams for combined civil services at the state level through which administrators, police officers and other entry level bureaucrats are selected.
The SSRB is authorized to make appointments to the non-gazetted cadre in the state on more or less the same pattern as is followed by the PSC.
The decision to give contractual appointments to even gazetted level officers, including doctors, engineers and lecturers, is something that has baffled the aspirants.
"Suppose I am working as a teacher in a government school on a regular appointment, but I have done my Ph.D and also passed the national eligibility test (NET) for lectureship in the colleges. What happens to me through this new policy?, said Sajad Nabi, 28.
"I have to give up a regular appointment as a school teacher and then get selected as a lecturer in a college on contract for seven years. I would be given regular appointment after seven years as per the terms of the new policy. What if the new government that comes to power scraps this policy after six years?, he wondered.
"It is like giving up a bird in hand for two in the bush," said a visibly disturbed Nabi.
What is true of a teacher would also be true of an engineer and a doctor under the new policy.
"I am working as a junior engineer against a regular appointment. If I want to enter the gazetted service as an assistant engineer, I will have to give up the regular job for a contractual appointment whose future would be uncertain," said Sheikh Suhail, 32, a junior engineer in the state power development department.
The other criticism about the policy is that if doctors, engineers and teachers can be appointed on contractual basis, why not bureaucrats and police officers.
Javaid Shah, editor of a local newspaper, said: "Why don't they say that the posts of under secretaries, tehsildars, assistant directors and deputy superintendents of police would also be filled through so-called fast track policy."
State Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu has tried to clear the air by stating that the new policy intends to fill up just those 12,000 to 15,000 jobs left unfilled by the previous governments and it is not in any way intended to undermine or do away with the responsibilities assigned to the PSC and the SSRB.
"It is not a job policy. We have to only fill around 15,000 jobs in the far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir which were not referred to SSRB and PSC. It is not going to be the general job policy of the government of Jammu and Kashmir," Drabu told reporters.
Despite the clarification, there is confusion among both the unemployed, educated youth looking for a government job and those who aspire for a higher position in government service.
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