Aspirants cry foul as Kashmir varsity goes ahead with recruitment process of lapsed assistant registrar posts

Aspirants cry foul as Kashmir varsity goes ahead with recruitment process of lapsed assistant registrar posts

In a clear violation of its own recruitment rules, Kashmir University is going ahead with the hiring process for assistant registrar posts that had lapsed in October last year, eliciting allegations of nepotism by prospective aspirants.

The university advertised seven positions of assistant registrar/assistant controller of examination on October 24, 2019, and as per the varsity statutes, the posts should have been filed within two years of the date or else re-advertised. Interestingly, when the posts were advertised in 2019, the varsity had asked those candidates who had already applied for the posts for different campuses way back in July 2015 to apply afresh.

The university failed to fulfill the posts within the stipulated time and invoked the emergency powers of the outgoing vice-chancellor to go ahead with the process, even though this was not under the purview of Section 13(4) of the Jammu and Kashmir Universities’ Act 1969 because of the non-exigency nature of the issue.

“Why is university denying us the opportunity to apply for the posts when the recruitment process has legally lapsed? The only thing they should have done is not to ask for submitting a fresh application fee from those who have already applied. But the posts had to be advertised afresh without fail,” said an aspirant of Srinagar.

“We want the current process quashed and the posts re-advertised,” he added.

The recruitment process involved three-tier criteria for the selection which included the holding of a preliminary examination, mains examination, and personality test. While the varsity could conduct the preliminary examination in August 2021, it had scheduled the mains for January 6, 2022, which was postponed due to inclement weather.

Sources in the university said that the entire process, including the final selection, as per the university’s own regulations, had to be completed by or before October 24, 2021, or else re-advertised in terms of subsection xiv of Section 17 of the regulations.

They said the university administration got special approval from the V-C for an “illegal extension” for the validity of these posts which had already expired.

They said that extending the validity of these posts, which is essentially a domain and purview of the two top bodies – syndicate and university council, was neither reported to the syndicate which wasn’t held nor the chancellor who heads the university council.

Some candidates who had applied for the posts in 2019 alleged that less than 50% of candidates could appear in the preliminary examination because the varsity didn’t give enough publicity to the schedule of the exam and hastily conducted the preliminary examination.

“I came to know about the conduct of prelims after the varsity issued the provisional list of candidates who qualified for the exam. It appears there is a hidden hand trying to reduce the competition for the posts aimed at favoring some people,” said an aspirant of Old City, Srinagar.

Sources in the university said that the varsity authorities also received several representations from the aggrieved candidates informing them about the lack of publicity to the exam schedule, but they were not considered.

Kashmir University registrar Nisar Ahmad Mir, meanwhile, rejected allegations of any nepotism claiming that the whole process was transparent.

He acknowledged that the process couldn’t be completed within two years and attributed it to government restrictions owing to Covid.

“We had to conduct the entrance exam of 6,000 candidates. The government itself didn’t allow us because of the pandemic SOPs.That means it could not have been completed in two years. We have sought a six-month exemption from the competent authority because of the given circumstances,” he added.

Mir said he was aware that some aspirants have also written to higher authorities about the issue of publicity and time which they have answered. “We gave wide publicity in newspapers and social media. Our publicity is handled by the government itself,” he said.

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