When on 5 August 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was declared Union Territory and its privileges of special status were cancelled, the central laws needed to be applied on it too. But some bureaucrats in the region have not become comfortable with the new reality even though it has been more than a year since the fateful day.
Bureaucrats’ attitude could be gauged from the eligibility criteria set in Services Selection Board (SSB) recruitment notification for 144 posts in the Transport Department. Deadline for submission of online applications was fixed as 16-01-2021.
In the advertisement issued by the Transport Department, there were two posts of Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) for union territory (UT) cadre, three posts of Motor Vehicle Traffic Assistant (MVTA) for UT cadre, seven posts of MVI for Kashmir division, three posts of Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector (AMVI) for Kashmir division, four posts of Sub Motor Vehicle Inspector (SMVI) for Kashmir division, 10 posts of MVI for Jammu division, nine posts of MVTA for Kashmir division, four posts of SMVI for Jammu division, three posts of AMVI for Jammu division and six posts of MVTA for Jammu division and some other posts in the department.
There were total 1700 posts in different departments which were advertised. Recruitment agency set the eligibility criteria for the posts of MVI and SMVI states that the candidate must have a degree/three years diploma in automobile/mechanical engineering from a recognized university/institute. Along with that, the candidate should possess a valid driving license of motorcycle with gear and light motor vehicle.
The problem arises with the eligibility criteria demanded of the candidate having a degree in automobile/mechanical engineering as it defies the recruitment rules set out by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India. At the central level, government demands diploma in automobile/mechanical engineering with no requirement of the degree.
Some applicants told Early Times said that since Jammu & Kashmir is a Union Territory, the Motor Vehicles Act as set out by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways should be implemented while recruiting candidates. This would make diploma holders in automobile/mechanical branches of engineering eligible for these posts.
However, many times before too eligibility criteria for such posts have come under criticism. The SSB issued notification for recruitment for 20 posts of MVI in the transport department under Prime Minister’s package for Kashmiri Pandits in 2017. At that time too, eligibility criteria for these posts were criticized.