IRSHAD FAYAZ/RAQEEB BHATT
SRINAGAR, Feb 07: A day after a section of media reported about abolition of J&K cadre and doing away with age relaxation in Union Public Service examinations, Jammu and Kashmir civil service aspirants have demanded revocation of this order in light of the circumstances prevailing in the erstwhile State.
Pertinently, some 40000 aspirants for civil services will get barred incase the age relaxation clause is not renewed. The student community of Jammu and Kashmir has demanding extension of age relaxation provision citing hostile circumstances prevailing in the Union territory.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch, multiple groups of civil services aspirants of J&K, observed that the age relaxation provision was not category, community or region based but only for the residents of the State of J&K born between 1980-1989.
“We were given this opportunity by the government of India keeping in view the topography and other circumstances of the Jammu and Kashmir. Now abolition of such provisions has demoralized us completely,” Aadil Ahmad Dar, a civil service aspirant told Kashmir Despatch.
He said that after 2026 the age relaxation clause meant for J&K residents would have been automatically abolished by virtue of its original notification. “I don’t think there was a need to abolish this clause at this crucial stage of our career. If this age relaxation clause is terminated, our hard work, money and energy will go in vain,” said Showkat Ahmad, a resident of Tral and another aspirant for civil services examination.
The age relaxation clause had granted the domiciles of J&K a relaxation of five years—a specialty not in vogue for other states. The age relaxation clause was renewed every two years by Department of Personnel and Training government of India. But this time, we had thought they will make this clause permanent given the fact that we were promised moon by the leadership of the country. Contrary to that assertion, removal of this clause has shattered all our hopes,” these aspirants added.
The circumstances under which the aspirants from J&K are preparing for the competitive examinations is in total contrast with the other states, they observed. “We have to prepare under frequent internet shutdowns, no connectivity, lack of study material, electricity outages; so it is pretty much difficult for us to prepare and will be almost impossible in absence of age relaxation clause,” they added further.
The condition in the state wherein strikes, internet shutdown, clampdowns leading to no access to study material/information etc has affected the aspirants both psychologically and academically, many aspirants opined.
“High unemployment in this union territory has added to our distress. The candidates born in 1989 haven’t yet crossed the upper age limit in general category itself. Thousands of students are preparing for the UPSC and other competitive examinations conducted by other public sector undertakings in the country. But the order to abolish the J&K Cadre coupled with removal of age relaxation clause has smashed our hopes and dreams,” they remarked.
It is pertinent to mention here that the former finance minister, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has already demanded revocation of the orders issued by DoPT government of India. “We are thankful to Mr. Altaf Bukhari for he has assured us that he will take up this issue at the highest level in the government of India,” said Adil Ahmad, a resident of Chanapora who is preparing for civil service examinations.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch, Farooq Ahmad Lone, Secretary, General Administration Department, said, “We have already pleaded before the government of India for extension in age relaxation for J&K civil service aspirants. However, we are awaiting a response from the union government.”