In June 2015 the then PDP-BJP Government slapped their worst ordinance at the facade of J&K youth. It neither was framed for the interest of economic welfare of state nor for the welfare of students, but was issued to quench their own thirst. The lump of rules set in the bag were that a candidate selected for a non gazetted post and few gazetted posts will get only basic pay for first five years of their service. They will be devoid of their right of getting house rent allowances and dearness allowances, a part of their salary. The gap of five years had been a breaking screw of their career window. They will also be not entitled to New Pension Scheme (NPS) benefits, which will surely blow their concept of govt service. For their self interests they have put the huge benchmarks for narrowing the salary and career prospectus of new employees. What is ridiculous is that only non gazetted posts were to be filled as per this SRO. If it had to be applied then it must have been inked on the file of gazzeted posts first. Making it selective for non gazetted cadre posts only is a deep scar on the faces of of such employees. And secondly some departments like Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Kashmir University are not enforcing any rule of the SRO 202. There is no uniformity at all, but irony is that rich is made richer and poor poorer. They just doubled the salary of MLAs at the same time to ensure luxuries of life for themselves and leave the issue of working staff brooding over the shelf.
Leaving the efficient youth in trouble for their own interests is one of the biggest causes of turmoil. And I remember when the candidates would frequently pressurize the govt to scrap the policy, the helmsmen would utterly eulogise that it was meant to curb the financial crunch in state. Such imprudent and hypercritic character of policy makers was always like rubbing salt into the wounds of injured youth. The counterparts selected for the same posts were offered full salary almost double of what candidates appointed under new job policy. When both are working on the same table the latter one definitely has a bloomy face ,all the day regretting for his fate. The policy has inflicted vigour of corruption and nepotism in the minds of new recruits. The mark of disloyalty with their service will get a new twist and they do have a solid reason for it and that is ignorance of the govt. When they are not treated equally with their old counterparts in pay and perks, they have started the other mediums of earning on the same table. ‘Right to Equality’ has been shattered deeply here. The Supreme Court order ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ has been rendered meaningless with negligible application here. In short this policy has been a bruise over the policies of the governance.
Moreover according to the rules of this ordinance every recruitment made under it must be completed within a period of three months and appointment order to be issued within 15 days from the date of issuance of selection list. This means that posts were to be filled under fast track basis, but they failed here also as almost all the selections done under this policy took more than one and half years on average and appointment orders also were issued accordingly with same sluggish speed and took two to three months for formal appointment orders for all the advertisements. Coming to the financial burden for the government of these employees appointed under SRO 202, that is very meager and almost negligible in regard to total financial implications of the state. Till now merely ten thousand appointments have been made under this policy. With implementation of seventh pay commission, the difference in salary between SRO 202 employees and their non SRO 202 contemporaries has been severely reduced and is ranging between four to six thousand. So increasing these few thousand rupees for some ten thousand employees has very less financial implications for government. Government must come to the rescue of the hardworking students at the earliest and immediate withdrawal of this policy is the only way out. Students expect that Governor Satya Pal Malik talking much about transparency, corruption and equal opportunities will come to their rescue.
(The author is teacher of J&K Government’s school education department. Views are his own)