Union ministers will soon start visiting J&K to review development activities: Jitendra Singh

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SRINAGAR: A team of four Union ministers will soon start visiting Jammu and Kashmir every week to review development activities in the union territory and carry feedback of the public as well as the administration for the consideration of the central government, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.
He said the team will comprise two ministers each for the Jammu and Kashmir regions.
“We are very soon going to start the touring of the central ministers in the UT. We did that experiment in the month of January when we had about 35 central ministers travelling here within one week or month. They also got back with a good experience, it was great exposure for the people of the UT as well as the officers,” Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, said.
He was addressing a two-day regional conference on replication of good governance practices at SKICC here.
Singh said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had proposed that instead of sending 35 ministers together, two ministers should visit the UT every week.
“So, we have decided two ministers for Jammu division, two for Kashmir and we are also going to do this for Ladakh. We are already working it out with the chief secretary. They (ministers) will be evaluating their own departmental projects, also carrying back the feedback of the public as well as the administration for the consideration of the central government,” he said.
The minister said there would be a common eligibility test (CET) for recruitment very soon and the “very important” initiative is going to start from this year which has been possible only because of a visionary Prime Minister like Narendra Modi.
“We are sure because this is a part of the UT, so we will have it here also. We are going to have a common eligibility test for recruitment. We are trying our best, we had given ourselves a timeline of September but got late because of COVID,” he said.
Singh said what happened before was that there was a selection test of railways one day, banking the other day and there was a clash of dates and centres.
“Also everybody cannot afford it. We have taken a revolutionary decision that there will be only one test and the centre will be available in each of the districts, at least one centre,” he said.
Singh said there would be at least one centre in each of the 20 districts of J-K and, if required, on the suggestions of the LG and the chief secretary, there could be more than one centre also.
“It will provide a level-playing field. You will not have to spend money to go far away from home for a test,” he added.
Singh said the CET is inspired by the same thought as NEET or IIT-JEE.
“An eligibility list, merit list will be made. We have set up a national recruitment agency (NRA) for that. A secretary has been appointed, the chairman will be appointed very shortly. That list will be valid for three years so that there is no need for taking another test for three years and no money is to be spent.
“You will know where your ranking is and whenever a new post is there, you apply depending on your ranking. The employer and the employee will have a very transparent way of recruitment. So, that is something new which is coming here,” he said.
Singh said the two-day regional conference was being held just a week after “a very successful” all-party meeting of J-K based political leaders chaired by the prime minister in Delhi.
“I am glad that all the representatives and all the leaders from across the political sections present there endorsed the honourable prime minister”s two-pronged thrust for J-K — the strengthening of the grassroots democracy and giving impetus to the development,” he said.