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JKEDI scam can be much bigger than thought; involvement of politicians not ruled out

Last Updated on October 12, 2020 at 8:02 pm

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has failed to take any lessons from the previous scams in the Union Territory. Another scam that took place is the recruitment scam in J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI).

On 16 September 2020, the Directorate of Audit and Inspection conducted a survey in which it was found that the recruitment that had begun since it was founded was fraudulent as the recruitment process lacked transparency and no timely advertisements were published. It was found that the advertisements were issued by the Institute for various posts but it was the only trailer made just to adjust their favorite candidates. 

The JKEDI launched a Youth start-up Loan Scheme to provide employment opportunities to the youth in J&K. The scheme was launched on 5 December 2009 under the government of Omar Abdullah.

According to the report by the Department of Employment found out that out of 1410 jobs 305 jobs were non-existent. The former CM refused to take action against the JKEDI officials who were involved in the scam. JKEDI claimed that it had employed about 11948 persons of J&K but when a physical verification was done it found that only 3286 people were employed but the end report was dismissed by the ruling party. 

According to the reports the authorities have utilized the funds to extend their existing business only. JKEDI has failed to employ the youth of J&K. The scam has ended the scheme to provide financial assistance to the young entrepreneurs of the UT.

On Wednesday last week, the JKEDI announced that the entrepreneur youth avail the facility of loan upto Rs 20 lakh at an interest rate of 6% only. The funding pattern for 10+2 qualified youth will be Rs 12 Lakh, for graduates will be Rs 15 Lakh, for postgraduates will be Rs 18 Lakh, and the professional and teaching graduates can avail a loan of Rs 20 Lakh. In the security part a recommendation from the government employee with at least 6 years of service and some other formalities.  

In another report, the advertisement for various posts was to be filled on a contractual basis for a period of one or two years and after that, the candidate will be regularized after the contract is over.

This, the candidates can apply for other jobs after having enough years of experience. But it was found that the selection criteria were finalized after the invitation of applications and shortlisting the candidates and many times the selection criteria were decided during the time of interview by the selection committee which was against the rules of the scheme.

The audit in its report said that the criteria adopted by the selection committee for recruiting various posts in the institution didn’t remain uniform throughout. 

In another report from the audit, the employees at the time of the appointment were supposed to submit their original documents and JKEDI had to verify them but the institute ignored it. Several appointments were made on fake certificates and the officials brought the scam to the ruling party but the ruling party refused. According to the JKEDI rules, no employee is deputed to other departments but JKEDI has deputed employees in other departments and without any benefits. In some cases, one post was advertised but more than one person was appointed.

On 14 May 2011 during the 14th meet of the governing body, the JKEDI waived off the qualification of M.Phill and Ph.D. for the post of assistant professor. It was done to appoint some candidates that had close relations with the authorities. 

The audit also found that the JKEDI has violated the financial rules and has adopted the higher pay scales of several employees. JKEDI also upgraded the pay scale of various posts from time to time. JKEDI has also paid high salaries to the contractual appointees and has also improved the same from time to time during the contract period of each appointee. 

In some cases of salary up-gradation, it has been found that no proper justification has been done, and proposed that these up-gradation be reviewed. The audit also found that the pay of JKEDI was re-fixed as the 7th pay commission which came into power from 1st October 2016 without the approval of the Governing body.

JKEDI in collaboration with Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) Ahmedabad has decided to offer a diploma in both campuses in J&K in entrepreneurship. The institute also planned to demand accreditation from AICTE and UGC to offer degree courses in Entrepreneurship Development in the future. The Chief Secretary has directed a constitution to make the JKEDI a more active organization.

According to the  constitution, the departments from finance, labour, and employment will inform the JKEDI about the currently available opportunities and modify the schemes to make them more comprehensive and competitive. The committee shall submit its report by 31 December 2020.