Rayess Masroor writes how JKPSC gives nightmares to applicants
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) is duty-bound to select the most capable and deserving persons for manning the civil services and other posts with a pledge to exercise utmost impartiality, objectivity and efficiency in accomplishing its tasks in a time-bound manner. However, JKPSC has over the years been a nightmare for the candidates and its performance has been on the decline for quite some time now. The Combined Competitive Service Examination 2016 is turning out to be a big joke for the aspirants with PSC virtually making mockery of this prestigious competitive examination. When the result of the preliminary examination was declared, serious discrepancies were found and the commission’s hollow vow of being fair were greatly exposed. There were huge mistakes in the evaluation of the answer scripts of the candidates like those candidates who had answered that Morley Minto reforms were introduced in 1908 were awarded the marks and those who responded with 1909 were rejected. Similarly, the study of oncology is known as ‘mountains’ was held to be correct. There were many more such blunders. This is sheer callousness and an utter reflection of the failure of the commission to proceed in a just manner. Thanks to the media, especially the print media and the voice raised by certain personalities, the commission was forced to come up with a revised key. The revised key was bound to change the merit given the wrong evaluation done by the PSC. Some 429 candidates who were declared to be qualified as per the first key were exited from the list and new 429 candidates were included when the commission came up with a revised key. However, there was no action taken against the commission for this unprecedented and unpardonable blunder. In the meantime, there was already a loss of almost a month’s time to those candidates who were declared to be qualified as per the revised key. Pertinently, 429 who were shown the door as per the revised key went to the court of law and initiated a legal battle with the PSC. With utter disregard to the sufferings of the candidates and the court orders, the commission came up with a date sheet for the Mains exam but somehow the agonized candidates, with the help of intervention from various political quarters, managed the postponement of the said examination till 15 February. Meanwhile, the exited 429 candidates continued their battle in the court and ultimately just before the main examination they were given the interim relief by the court and as such the commission had no option but to allow them to sit in the examination. Ironically, these candidates have now just one week to prepare for the main examination. A lot of people, besides the aggrieved candidates, are asking whose mistake it was to push them to the court. After all they can’t be punished for the blunder of the public service commission. It’s against ethics and natural justice to force them to sit in the examination with just a few days remaining till the main commencement of the examination. On the other hand, with the inclusion of 429 candidates, the merit has once again changed and there are some more 2300 candidates who fall in the new merit and they are also looking forward to drag the commission to the court. Among all this mess, the commission is least bothered and they are bent upon going ahead with the main examination. There is a strong view that while the result of the preliminary examination would be altogether quashed by the court, what was the fun of conducting the examination and forcing the students to toe the line of the PSC? Who would be responsible if the result of the preliminary examination is quashed? The aspiring candidates are in a mood to appear in such an examination, the result of which rests more with the court verdict than their actual performance in the said examination. Not only this, the commission is also constitutionally bound to provide equal opportunity and a level-playing field to all the aspiring candidates. However, the commission would force the candidates from the Valley to appear in the exam in the sub-zero temperatures and seemingly attempting deliberately to benefit certain sections. Some students who were supposed to appear in Srinagar were stranded in Jammu with the road closed and the Airfares touching the sky. It’s rightly said that injustice arises as much by treating equals unequally as much by treating unequal equally. There are several polls going on social media, and day in and day out, the agonized candidates are forced to come on the streets to protest against the commission and meeting politicians of all parties. However, the commission has no sympathy with the candidates. This is totally unprecedented and unacceptable to the society as a whole. The JKPSC is doing a great disservice to the State by depriving the merit and forcing its will. The question can be asked that if the commission has waited so long, why it cannot wait for some more time to get the litigations addressed by the court at least to prevent itself from the contempt of court. As such there is a serious need that the said examination be postponed that would also allow the new entrants (429) to prepare themselves for the main examination and in the meantime the harsh winter would also get over to ensure equal opportunity to all the candidates. Many people are asking that why can’t the JKPSC have a definite calendar on the UPSC pattern to conduct various examinations. There is a set planning and procedure adopted by the UPSC to allow the aspirants to plan their preparations accordingly in a decent and cordial manner. UPSC issues the examination schedule and time table well before a year and the students are given ample time to prepare and plan their examination without any uncertainty. As such, the expediency and eagerness shown by the JKPSC raises many questions as to what kind of self-goal they are looking for and what kind of authority they are trying to impose upon the poor aspirants. With this attitude and lackadaisical approach, JKPSC is quickly losing its credibility and objectivity. It seems that the political executive has failed to reign in the commission and prevent it from acting in an arbitrary and careless manner. This looks to be a total scam and there is a popular view on the ground that the irregularities done by the JKPSC in CSE 2016 should be probed and the culprits should be punished for their misdeeds sooner than later. Among all this uncertainty, the ray of hope comes from the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He should ensure that the Mains examination, till the court gives its final verdict and the weather improves in the valley, is postponed. There’s also an urgent need to order a probe to look into the irregularities of the JKPSC and punish the people responsible. Hope sustains life and there’s a hope that justice would be ensured in this case and the students would be given a sympathetic consideration.