Waking up from two-year long slumber, Jammu and Kashmir Government has finally made up its mind to abolish the practice of conducting interviews for recruitments to the non-gazetted posts in order to fast-track the selection process, which under the prevailing system is not possible. A formal order in this regard is likely to be issued in near future so as to ensure that all the vacant posts referred to the recruiting agencies as on date are filled through the new mechanism.
The landmark decision about abolition of interviews for recruitment to lower level posts was taken by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi about two years back and from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2015 he had called upon all the States to immediately avoid practice of interviews on the ground that interviews for junior level posts were leading to corrupt practices and depriving candidates with higher merit in written test of jobs.
Though the majority of the States acted upon the suggestion of the Prime Minister and abolished the interviews for recruitment to non-gazetted posts yet Jammu and Kashmir preferred to ignore the issue and for nearly two years there was neither any serious discussion nor decision to fall in line with 18 States and 7 Union Territories of the country.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of Union Government dashed numerous communications to the J&K Government particularly the Chief Secretary and Commissioner/ Secretary General Administration Department a number of times stressing the need for acting upon the suggestion of Prime Minister.
The dilly-dallying approach in taking the decision was notwithstanding the fact that without the abolition of interviews fast track recruitment to fill vacant posts in different departments was not possible.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that the issue of fast-track recruitment particularly to fill various non-gazetted posts in the Education Department, which has the highest number of vacancies as on date, came up for discussion in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary B B Vyas few days back.
In the meeting, which was attended by the Secretaries of General Administration, Law and School Education Departments and Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board, it was observed that to fill 3450 posts of Education Department referred to the Services Selection Board around 17250 candidates will have to be interviewed under the prevailing system (five candidates for each post) and this exercise will take several months as such fast-track recruitment will not be possible, sources informed.
After detailed deliberations, a consensus emerged that abolition of interview system was imperative to ensure recruitments on fast track basis, sources said, adding it was decided that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will be apprised about the difficulties in fast-tracking recruitment for non-gazetted posts under the prevailing system and necessity of doing away with interviews.
“The issue will be discussed with the Chief Minister on her return from the Union Capital and formal order is likely in near future as fast-tracking recruitment is also the concern of Mehbooba Mufti, who has received numerous representations from the aspirants for Government jobs expressing concern over inordinate delay in filling up of vacant posts”, sources said.
When contacted, a senior officer of the General Administration Department confirmed that Government was seriously thinking to do away with interview system for recruitment to non-gazetted posts. “We are hopeful of orders in this regard after August 15”, he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that till date, 18 States and 7 Union Territories of the country have abolished or discontinued the practice of holding interview for recruitment to lower level posts. Among the States which have yet not decided about abolition or discontinuation of the interview include Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.