JKAS Aspirants Distressed As Eligibility Criteria Changes

by Syed Shadab Ali Gillani

SRINAGAR: While the examination for the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services (JKAS) is around the corner, many aspirants are distressed over the changed eligibility criteria. The criterion shift will prevent many aspirants from writing the examination.

Lt Governor meeting delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service Officers (KAS) Association

Under the new criterion, the examining institution has fixed an age limit of 32, which is the lowest-ever age limit for the examination. The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service exam is conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission. It is considered one of the major exercises for aspirants wishing to get into the coveted service.

“The authorities have changed the age criteria out of nowhere because of which, even after preparing for one year, I am no longer eligible for the examination,” a female aspirant, currently 33, said. Hailing from South Kashmir, the young lady said she prepared for the examination through a coaching programme under the Government-initiated scheme Parvaaz which is primarily for the underprivileged and students from poor backgrounds. “Now when I am ready to write the examination, I do not fall in the age bracket.”

The aspirant said that earlier, the age limit for appearing in these exams was 35 years for Jammu and Kashmir students but was reduced to 32 years in 2022. The students protested. “Then, the age limit was changed to 35 following strong social media protests but the authorities said that it will just be for one time, so they again changed it to 32, which has left me and other many aspirants ineligible.”

Notably, thousands of JKAS aspirants who were preparing for the examinations are now ineligible due to the announcement of the 75 JKAS/JKPS vacancies as per SRO 103 of 2018.

In other states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand the age limit is between 40-42 years for the State PSC exams while in Jammu and Kashmir, it is 32 for open merit candidates, 34 for reserved category candidates and 35 for physically challenged candidates.

“It is injustice with us since we have the highest unemployment rate here,” another aspirant, Hilal Ahmad (name changed) complained. “The age limit of 32 for Jammu and Kashmir aspirants in the Open Merit category is the lowest age limit for a State PSC exam in the entire country. I also put a grievance to the authorities about this issue, but it was not addressed.”

The change in the age bracket has left hundreds of aspirants out of the race. “What will we do? We have been preparing for a long time now. I want the government to address this issue and reconsider it,” another student said.

Many other aspirants who have reached the age of 32 and were preparing for JKAS are likewise concerned and anxious by this age limit and hundreds of aspirants are likely to miss the Combined Competitive Exam (CCE)-2023.

An official told Kashmir Life that the change in the age limit is a policy decision and is the mandate of the government. He said JKPSC is just a selector as they work on the terms and conditions that the employer fixes. The 21-32 age bracket was in vogue for central services like IAS, IPS and many other central services.


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