KVIB Selection Row

On Sunday, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti ordered a high-level probe into the recruitment of the executive officers in Khadi and Village Industries Board. The Board has made the alleged fraudulent appointments of Syed Aroot Madni, son of the PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni, who is the maternal uncle of the CM. This puts the CM also in the dock as Aroot is her cousin. However, while the outrage over Aroot’s selection was still spreading on social media, close relatives of PDP leaders figured in a fresh selection list issued by Social Welfare Department. Those appointed include Rufiada Mansoor, daughter of the PDP’s General Secretary and Vice Chairman KVIB Peer Mansoor Hussain and Sahara Sayeed, daughter of Muhammad Sayeed Khan, brother-in-law of Sartaj Madni.

However. the government under pressure from the opposition has taken the issue of wrongdoing in selections seriously. On Monday, the CM impressed upon the recruiting agencies like Public Service Commission and Subordinate Services Recruitment Board to speed up recruitment process in the state even as she asked the departments to update the vacant positions and clear the backlog of Class IV recruitments.  Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary BB Vyas-led committee has been tasked to investigate the selection process. The Committee has been asked to furnish its report in a short time.

However, while the probe could still go ahead, Aroot has tendered his resignation from the post. His move has been criticized by the opposition as a proof of the irregularities in selection process. Some broad details about the selection for the posts underline that the process was not fair. One such detail  is that instead of a set norm of 80:20 mark ratio for the written exam and interview, the government had set 60 marks for the written test, 30 for the interview and 10 for the work experience for selection.

The controversy surrounding the KVIB and Social Welfare lists has once again underlined the inherent issues of credibility with our recruitment process. In KVIB case, the written test had been outsourced to a private recruiting firm. But as it has turned out this has been no guarantee against the allegations of malfeasance. The exercise seems to have been allegedly rigged to favour the powerful. And this is a grave injustice to the hundreds of the educated and eligible candidates who appear in these examinations.  All of them work hard to compete in these tests, thinking it is a fair exercise. They come from every part of the state, travel long distances to appear in the examination, in the hope to realize their  desire  to become government officers. But little do they know that they are unsuspectingly appearing in the exercises that are already fixed. The senior IAS officer Shah Faesal has rightly called for filing of an FIR against “those people -- who push our educated youngsters to the wall and kill their confidence”. For future recruitment exams we will need a more transparent process to ensure that the selections are done on merit only. So more than a probe we need a transparent recruitment process that leaves little scope for the powerful to manipulate it to their benefit.









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