District wise merit lists raise many eyebrows, trigger protests by candidates

Selection in Prelim Exams for posts of PO in J&K Bank

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 11: District wise preparation of merit lists for selection of candidates in the Preliminary Exams for the posts of Probationary Officers in J&K Bank, has raised many eyebrows and triggered a strong resentment among the candidates from Jammu.
Even as all the selection lists of officers in Government departments as well as in J&K Bank are issued on State level, a unique phenomenon of District wise merit lists was adopted by the Bank authorities in the ongoing selection process whereas the same was not mentioned in the advertisement notice for these posts.
Protesting against the selection criteria, the aggrieved candidates from Jammu held protest demonstrations and alleged that the cut off marks for various Districts have been fixed in such a manner that it puts Jammu candidates to an obvious disadvantage.
According to the candidates, the cut off percentage for Jammu districts is much higher than the Valley districts. For example, they claimed, the cut off percentage for Jammu district is 63 whereas for the Srinagar , it is 42.
Results of the Preliminary examination were declared on last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP and former Minister, alleged that the only objective behind the highly scandalous proposition of District level merit lists of officers was to subvert the State level merit list and to thereby confer benefits upon favourites and blue eyed candidates.
He alleged that District wise lists of POs had been prepared only due to low merit of candidates in Kashmir division who could be brought within the consideration zone only by resorting to such gimmickry. Urging upon the vigilante organizations to take cognizance of the highly opprobrious and irregular practices having been adopted by the J&K Bank, Singh threatened to launch a full throttle campaign against all malpractices committed in the functioning of the said bank wherein the Government holds 59 percent share.
Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, reacting to the large scale resentment and protests by the aspirants questioning the criteria followed and adopted by the Bank , said that apparently there appears justification in their protests as why merit alone is not the criteria when the selectees are transferable to any branch of the Bank in the country.
“These questions need to be answered and entire matter needs to be looked into more particularly when there are already instances of favoritism in the bank, highlighted by the Governor himself and the bank authorities always discouraged efforts to seek transparency in the system,” he said and urged the Governor to personally look into the matter.
President Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement (JKPM) and former IAS officer, Dr Shah Faesal has also asked the J&K Bank to not only adopt transparent recruitment process but ensure that the process is seen as fair and transparent by all stakeholders.
“The perception that public institutions are not doing justice with all regions of the State needs to end by ensuring free flow of information”, Faesal said and added that the Bank should allay fears and apprehensions being expressed by the Jammu based aspirants.
He was interacting with a deputation of Jammu-based aspirants for various J&K Bank vacancies, who called on him on Saturday morning and expressed their fears about selections in the Bank. Shah Faesal assured the deputation that concerns expressed by them would be brought into the notice of the concerned Bank authorities for immediate redressal.
Vikram Malhotra, President, District Congress Committee (DCC), Jammu and S. Manjit Singh, President, District Congress Committee (DCC), Samba, have also expressed their serious concern over the discriminatory attitude of those at the helm of affairs in the Jammu & Kashmir Bank, who exhibited their negative approach by adopting different criteria for different districts for selection of candidates in the Preliminary Examination for Probation Officers.