“Principal Secretary, Navin Choudhary, who talks too much about morality, has turned blind eyes towards this malice exercise”
Amid ever increasing unemployment in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Agriculture has reportedly discovered a ‘bizarre’ Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), putting an end to the direct recruitment for the post of Junior Agriculture Extension Officer, thus leaving aspirants ‘high and dry’.
Talking to The Typewriter, President Jammu and Kashmir Agricultural Students Association, Divyansh Verma said that this is sheer injustice on the part of the department.
“The original SRO provided 60:40 ratio for direct recruitment and departmental promotion, but those at the helm of affairs, to adjust their dear ones, keep on changing the rules,” alleged the aspirant, adding, “SRO-02, invoked on 2nd January 2004 provided 60 percent direct recruitment and 40 percent by promotion.”
He said that the problem started in 2003-2004, when some aspirants with political backing were temporarily appointed as Rehbar-e-Ziraat, following their protests.
“The post of Rehbar-e-Ziraat was non-existential in the official act of the department,” said Divyansh, adding, “The newly appointed Rehbar-e-Ziraat, under strong political patronage, continued to stage protests for their regularization.”
He asserted that in 2014, the government decided to regularize all of them under one time settlement at the post of Agricultural Extension Assistant.
“This post is also non-existential and was created just to adjust candidates of Rehbar-e-Ziraat, who had been appointed without any screening or test,” Divyansh said and added that in 2014, SSB issued notification for 69 vacant posts of Junior Agricultural Extension Officer under SRO-02.
The newly regularized candidates of Rehbar-e-Ziraat, who had been appointed as Agricultural Extension Assistant without any screening or test, started protesting against the notification and approached the court. “The court dismissed their petition, saying that the quota cannot be changed. With this order, 69 Junior Agriculture Extension Officers were appointed,” he said.
Again, in an attempt to adjust these regularized candidates, the government in 2017 amended SRO-02 and invoked SRO-442, which provided for filling of the post of Junior Agriculture Extension Officer by 100 percent promotion.
“We protested against this irrational SRO. The government assured us that there will be reorganization in the department,” said Divyansh, adding that in Gazetted posts as well the department brought amendment in SRO 179, which provided for a 50:50 ratio in the appointment.
He maintained that SRO 179 was replaced by SRO 433, which reduced the quota ratio from 50 to mere 20 percent for direct recruitment.
“The prime reason for bringing these amendments is to adjust these regularized candidates, who have strong political and bureaucratic patronage,” he said and added that this SRO blocked the entry of young professionals in the Dept and provided window to the privileged candidates, who have not qualified any exam or interview and have been adjusted under one-time settlement plan.
A senior officer in the Agriculture Department, wishing anonymity stated that those at the helm of affairs in the department have always tried to accommodate their kiths and kins, as it is a milking cow.
“Imagine, in such difficult times, when the government is supposed to provide level playing field to all the candidates to respect the merit, they have managed cakewalk for their relatives, who have entered the department by taking politicians hostage,” he said and added that even for the post of IV class, the system encourages transparent process, but here even gazetted posts will be allotted to sycophants and mediocre, who have close inclination with politicians and bureaucrats.
He stated that the Principal Secretary, Navin Choudhary, who talks too much about morality, has turned blind eyes towards this malice exercise.
When tried to contact Principal Secretary, Agriculture Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary his Private Secretary told that he is busy in a meeting.
Talking to The Typewriter, Additional Secretary, Agriculture Babu Ram said that the department has reorganised it’s recruitment rules and now entry post has 100 percent direct recruitment.
“We have added new category of Agriculture Extension Assistant, which provides for 100 percent direct recruitment,” said Babu Ram.