Sharma appointed PSC Chairman, order withdrawn within hours

Another fiasco by UT Govt

Centre to define UPSC, PSC, SSC, SSB powers in J&K

Neeraj Rohmetra
JAMMU, May 5: In yet another faux pas committed within a fortnight, the Jammu and Kashmir Government today ordered appointment of BR Sharma, former Chief Secretary of J&K and presently Chairman of Staff Selection Commission (SSC), as the J&K Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman only to withdraw the order within hours as Sharma had been granted two years extension as the SSC Chairman only on April 20 by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Few days back, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) headed by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu had announced cancellation of annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji beginning June 23 only to cancel the decision within next few hours.
An order issued this morning by the General Administration Department (GAD) said the Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has appointed BR Sharma as Chairman, Public Service Commission for J&K. He will hold the post till he attains the age of 62 years, the order said.
Within hours, a UT Government spokesman rang up the newspapers office to convey that the order issued by the GAD on appointment of Sharma as the PSC Chairman has been withdrawn.
According to sources, the order for appointment of BR Sharma as Chairman of the PSC was issued by the UT Government notwithstanding the fact that he had been granted extension of two years as the SSC Chairman by the ACC headed by the Prime Minister and a new person had to be posted there before relieving him for J&K.
Sources said names of a senior IAS officer, who is due for superannuation in next couple of months and a senior retired IPS officer are under consideration for appointment as Members of the J&K PSC.
Meanwhile, according to sources, Sharma had also not received the nod of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), especially when he was posted as the SSC Chairman, which is the Nodal Agency for such clearances and is headed by Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh under overall supervision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It was mandatory for Sharma to seek the DoPT nod before taking up any assignment in the Union Territory,” sources said.
Sharma, who was due to retire on April 30, had been re-employed as the Chairman of Staff Selection Commission for two more years up to April 30, 2022 and the re-employment had been approved by the ACC.
“The UT Government issued order for appointment of Sharma as the J&KPSC Chairman without following due procedure like allowing the ACC to first name his successor and his relieving from the post as he had been appointed by the Prime Minister-headed Panel,” sources pointed out.
The SSC conducts recruitment for Group B and C posts in the Central Government departments.
Sources said Sharma, who is 1984 batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, is likely to be appointed as the J&KPSC Chairman in the UT but due process for that has to be followed including posting of his successor in the SSC, a post on which he had been appointed in October last year.
Further, according to sources, the Central Government has to define powers of Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) and J&K Public Service Commission (PSC), both of which are responsible for appointment of Gazetted officers and Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and J&K Services Selection Board (SSB) of J&K, which make recruitments for non-Gazetted cadre.
The UPSC will have jurisdiction over the Union Territory of Ladakh where there will be no J&K PSC.
Pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir was granted the PSC by the J&K Reorganization Act, sources, however, said the Centre will have to define powers of UPSC and J&KPSC. The UPSC will, however, make selections for Civil Services officers as J&K being a Union Territory is now part of AGMUT cadre.
“The posts for which the J&K PSC will be eligible to make selections have to be identified yet,’’ they said.
Similarly, they said, the powers of SSC and J&K SSB will also be defined shortly especially the posts for which the two agencies will conduct recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Some Union Territories don’t have Public Service Commission as well as Services Selection Board and local appointments in those UTs are made by the UPSC (for Gazetted cadre) and the Staff Selection Commission (for the non-Gazetted cadre),” sources said.
However, Jammu and Kashmir will have the PSC but the level of posts for which it will be eligible to make selections have to be decided.


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