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JKSSB Suspends Exam After Protests Over Lack of Transparency

Job aspirants had protested the involvement of Mumbai-based ‘blacklisted’ recruitment agency Aptech Ltd in the exam.
J&K Syudent scholarship.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Services Selection Board (JKSSB) exam was suspended a day before on Tuesday following protests in J&K against the involvement of ‘blacklisted’ agency Aptech Ltd in recruitment.

The Computer Based Examinations for various posts scheduled w.e.f. 16.03.2023 to 05.04.2023 are deferred till further intimation,” the JKSSB tweeted.

Lieutenant governor (LG) Manoj Sinha told reporters in Jammu that the decision was made in view of the administration’s adherence to transparency in recruitment.

The JKSSB will hold the examination once it is certain about it. Even if there is an iota of doubt, it matters to us as transparency is our top priority. Recruitment should be based on merit and there will be no compromise on this,” he reporters in Jammu.

Hundreds of job aspirants had been protesting against the administration’s decision to allow Aptech to conduct the exam in the Union Territory. The Mumbai-based recruitment agency has been involved in various scams in several states, which concerned the candidates.

Regional political parties, including the JKNC, PDP, CPI(M), Congress and Apni Party had advocated the concern of the aspirants and condemned the administration for putting their careers at risk.

The decision to suspend the exam was welcomed by several parties, who urged the administration to ensure transparency in the process.

JKNC’s chief spokesperson and communications-in-charge Tanvir Sadiq congratulated “the aspirants, who came together and made their voices heard”. “Your unity and determination have shown that coming together makes us stronger. Keep fighting for what you believe in!,” he tweeted.

CPI (M) Central Committee member and former MLA MY Tarigami tweeted: “Giving in to the tireless struggle of job aspirants, JKSSB finally put off the exams. Mere deferment is not a solution. Qualified youth have limited job options & hiring shady firms mar their careers. The recruitment agency must ensure transparency and infuse confidence among them.”

The LG refused to respond to allegations levelled by the regional political leaders, including Mehbooba Mufti, who led a scathing attack against Sinha during a protest march in the winter capital last week. 

Alluding to the dismissal of government employees in J&K over the past two years for their alleged involvement in “anti-national” activities under Article 311 of the Constitution, he said, “I will not respond to any allegations, but the truth is that more than 47 people who were involved in anti-national activities were removed from jobs here. When they were recruited I don’t need to tell.

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