The Central Government on Wednesday formally abolished Jammu and Kashmir cadre of Civil Services making J&K part of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh Goa and Mizoram Union Territories) and has also done away with five-year age relaxation for the local youth in Civil Services Examinations conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) bringing the UT of J&K at par with rest of the country, reported Daily Excelsior.
The newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted official sources as having said that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India today issued a notification formally abolishing the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of Civil Services and making J&K part of AGMUT Cadre as J&K has now become a Union Territory from the State.
“The Civil Services batch of 2020 will not be eligible for Jammu and Kashmir cadre for the first time. Those seeking Jammu and Kashmir cadre will have to apply for AGMUT cadre and depending upon the vacancies in J&K will get posted in the Union Territory,’’ the report quoted sources as saying.
While framing Rules after conversion of Jammu and Kashmir from State to Union Territory, the Central Government had assured that IAS/IPS/IFS officers already posted in J&K will retain their cadre and will not be merged into AGMUT cadre. The same position will continue for the Civil Services officers already posted in Jammu and Kashmir till 2019 while those seeking posting in J&K from 2020 batch of UPSC will have to opt for AGMUT cadre.
“As long as Jammu and Kashmir remains a Union Territory it will now be part of AGMUT cadre,’’ sources said.
Meanwhile, the DoPT has done away with five years age relaxation granted to Jammu and Kashmir youth in the Civil Services examinations since 1990 when militancy had spread in the erstwhile State and large number of people had to migrate from the Valley and some other places.
“The conditions on which age relaxation had been granted don’t exist now. Therefore, the age relaxation of five years has been withdrawn,’’ sources said.
Upper age limit for appearing in the Civil Services examinations is 32 years for General category, 35 for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 37 for Scheduled Castes (SCs). However, the youth of Jammu and Kashmir had five years relaxation in upper age limit in all categories.
In 2016 also, the DoPT had done away with age relaxation in the Civil Services examinations for Jammu and Kashmir youth but had withdrawn the order following intervention by the then PDP-BJP coalition Government, it said.
With this, Jammu and Kashmir has been brought at par with other States and Union Territories of the country and there will be one age limit for all youth appearing for the UPSC examinations across the country, sources pointed out.
The DoPT has again called upon the Union Territory Government of Jammu and Kashmir to go for Cadre Review of the IAS to increase strength so that they could be allotted more officers from 2020 batch of the Civil Services once the results are declared by the Union Public Services Commission.
When approached for comments on Cadre Review, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, Incharge DoPT, said: “Timely Cadre Review will increase vacancies in Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory will become entitled to more Civil Services officers’’.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Cadre Review hasn’t been held in Jammu and Kashmir for the past several years but expressed confidence that after J&K becoming a Union Territory and under the Lieutenant Governor’s rule, the Cadre Review will be conducted shortly.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the DoPT had given at least 20 reminders to previous Governments from time-to-time for carrying out Cadre Review but they didn’t conduct it for unknown reasons.
“Many J&K youngsters who had qualified the Civil Services examinations would have got Jammu and Kashmir cadre earlier had the Cadre Review been carried out leading to an increase in vacancies. Due to delay in Cadre Review, the J&K Civil Services qualifiers had to opt other States,’’ the report quoted Dr Jitendra Singh as having said.
It may be mentioned here that previous Governments of PDP-BJP and National Conference-Congress didn’t conduct Cadre Review in Jammu and Kashmir despite repeated reminders sent by the DoPT.
Meanwhile, sources said, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will take a call shortly on the constitution of the Public Services Commission (PSC) for Jammu and Kashmir.
The decision was likely to be taken after February 11 when the Parliament will have a break in the budget session.
The issue of constitution of the PSC for Jammu and Kashmir has been pending before the MHA, Daily Excelsior quoted sources as having said.