SRINAGAR, Feb 7 (Agencies): Terming the decision of the abolition of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of Civil Services as unwarranted and arbitrary, former finance minister of the Union Territory Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Friday demanded that the decision be rolled back in view of the promise to restore the statehood made by the Prime Minister on the floor of Parliament.
Bukhari also expressed strong reservations on doing away with five-year age relaxation granted to Jammu and Kashmir youth in the Civil Services examinations. “The decision of abolition of J&K cadre and doing away with the five-year age relaxation are capricious and have come as a shocker to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially its aspirants for the Civil Services career,” Bukhari remarked. The former finance minister observed that these decisions were confusing and make no sense because at the time of temporary conversion of J&K from State to Union Territory, the Central Government had assured that there will be no fiddling with the cadre. “These decisions seem to have been taken without proper application of mind.
Not only the sanctity of the caderisation of the Civil Services has been put to a question mark but the decision to abolish J&K cadre will be a strong factor for demotivation of the J&K youth who aspire to join the prestigious civil services in the country,” he opined. Bukhari observed that the five-year age relaxation was granted by the Centre to J&K civil service aspirants because of topography, inclement climatic conditions and the hostile security scenario in the Kashmir Valley. “However, the contenders from all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir were equally benefitted by this special provision of age relaxation. Doing away with this advantage has not only brought cynicism among them but has also
disillusioned thousands of J&K students who have gone outside the state for coaching, thereby wasting their precious time and resources,” he added.
The former finance minister demanded immediate review of these decisions in the larger interest of the people of the Union territory, especially its huge number of qualified, unemployed youth. “The status of Jammu and Kashmir may have changed from a State to Union territory, but unfortunately there is no marked change on the ground situation so far. These hostile decisions are bound to alienate our aspiring youth further,” Bukhari observed, while appealing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister to intervene into the matter and ask the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to revoke its decisions without any delay. He said that the civil service aspirants of Jammu and Kashmir appear in the examination conducted through UPSC after facing tremendous hardships including inclement weather, intimidating security situation and frequent internet shutdowns. “Our youth have always braved all odds with a hope that they will get a chance to prove their mettle in the prestigious civil service examinations. That hope, trust and confidence of our students need to be restored by the leadership of our country,” he said.