Education is a powerful force capable of curing every kind of social malady. Education is not responsible for figuring out age old and natural problems but ad eterminant force responsible for resolving them. The best and recent example in this respect has been presented by Michel Foucault, in his book, Madness and Civilization. He pointed out how education has been responsible for evolving the meaning of madness in society, philosophy and medical science. Karuna Chanana, rightly counted education a magic wand, capable of curing all social maladies. It is being conceived a force of democratization and liberation of society. However, like nuclear energy, and modern sophisticated technology education in itself is not capable of determining and deciding affairs. The results and outcomes are heavily depending upon the use of education. Like nuclear energy and modern technology, education if misused cannot prove disastrous for present generation but for generations to come. Educationists and sociologists have already warned us about dangerous and repercussive consequences of misunderstanding and misusing education and educational institutions. History bears witness to the fact that education due wrong policies became a weapon for reproduction of culture and reinforcement of social inequalities.
No liberal democratic country can even claim to be democratic and egalitarian if education system of the country is reproducing and reinforcing social inequalities.Paul Freire, has even warned us that education can dehumanize society if misused and misinterpreted.
Through mass media we hear many uplifting anecdotal stories of Education Minister and strategies of government for reformation of education system in Jammu and Kashmir. However, recent notifications of Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) reveal misunderstanding or misuse of education and educational institutions by the government and its agencies.On 23- 05- 2013, JKPSC invited applications for the post of Assistant Professors vide Notification No: 09-PSC (DR-P) of 2013.Unfortunately for the reasons unknown in suppression of the Notification JKPSC re-advertised the post under Notification No. 12-PSC (DR-P) of 2014, dated 29-05-2014 making competition baffling especially for those who had applied in 2013. The re-advertisement of posts dragged candidates (who had applied in 2013) at back foot not because many new applications were received (mostly for the same number of posts) but they were also the victim of circumstances. Most of them had acquired their degrees during the period when armed conflict in the state was at its peak and universities especially University of Kashmir had its own mechanism of evaluation and awarding grades.
Researches across the globe have revealed that education and armed conflict has inverse relation with each other. The empirical evidence suggests that armed conflict often unexpectedly reduces grades of students. Those who study in conflict are most likely to have lower grades. In our context armed conflict is not the only tragedy. The travesty is that bringing degrees and bringing them by cheat is a fashioning trend in Kashmir. This is the fact about which every kid and elder of society is well aware even the Honorable High Court of the State acknowledged it and directed the recruiting agencies of the state to arrest the menace. It was on the intervention of Honorable High Court of the state that the major recruiting agency, Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board started screening for the selection of various posts like Patwris, Clerks, Assistants, Drivers, Plumbers etc. The Honorable High Court identified and recognised the fact that education Mafia has strong hold in the state and illegal means are used by students to acquire rather purchase degrees from outside the state. It strongly denounced short listing of candidates for posts on the bases percentage of marks and maintained that process of evaluation varies from university to university.
It is shocking and surprising that the top most recruiting agency of the state, JKPSC has decided to follow the age old and questionable method to short listing the candidates, that too for the post of a teacher (Assistant Professor at college). After prolonged wait JKPSC have shortlisted candidates in Arabic for the post of Assistant Professor by giving 90% (Ninety) weight-age to the basic qualification that is post graduation thus made fun of higher qualifications like M.Phil, PhD, PDF, NET and SET. The commission has been unable to realize that a large chunk of students from the state have acquired higher percentage in post graduation and PhDs from outside the state by resorting to cheap means. The decision of the Honorable High Court in this regard is very clear and loud. JKPSC must give a heed to it. The decision of JKPSC to shortlist candidates on percentage bases will mar students of reputed universities.
Lastly it is worth to mention that JKPSC has advertised 28 posts in Arabic 15, 06, 03, 03, 01 for open merit, RBA, SC, ST, and ALC respectively. The category wise number of shortlisted candidates as per JKPSC notification is, open merit 30, 9 in RBA, 11 in ST, and 2 ALC. That means the ratio for interview is, OM 1:2, RBA 1:1.5, ST 1: 3.66 and 1:1 for ALC. It is beyond comprehension which rule JKPSC has followed in short listing the candidates.
The criteria adopted by JKPSC will not only promote students of particular and infamous universities and deteriorate the higher education system of the state but will dehumanize the society.So it is requested to conduct screening or adopt a lucid strategy for the recruitment.
Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, is a student of Sociology, social activist and currently Head Department of Sociology at Government Degree College, Sumbal Sonawari, Jammu and Kashmir, India. He is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
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