A blacklisted agency engaged by India’s Illegally installed Jammu and Kashmir administration to conduct recruitment examinations for government jobs had led to protests in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
According to various media outlets, mass protests were held in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir this week against Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). Job aspirants protested in front of Press Enclave against the hiring of black listed agency APTECH Ltd. for conduct of various exams.
The protesters pointed out that APTECH Ltd. had been involved in numerous scams in other parts of the country including in Rajasthan, Leh, Ambala, and others. “Many national papers have also highlighted these scams, nothing significant is being done to allay the apprehensions of the job aspirants.” they said.
The Delhi High Court has even imposed a penalty of one million rupees on APTECH for alleged malpractices in recruitments.
The protesters, raised slogans against Indian installed administration and demanded that it must investigate as to why paper leak and exam scam issues only occur in IIOJK.
“All blacklisted companies should be banned in Jammu and Kashmir, until action is taken against these blacklisted companies, no student will sit for any competitive exams,” the protestors asserted.
The protesters demanded that the Lieutenant Governor administration should rise to the occasion and take necessary measures for the larger benefit of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
They were of the view that Indian government had systematically destroyed the complete education system of IIOJK.
The Kashmiri students time and again had protested against Indian coercive policies deliberately targeting the future of youth.
Social media users in Kashmir were expressing their anger on Twitter and other social media platforms over the selection of APTECH company by the LG-led administration for conducting the Jammu Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) exams.
APTECH had been penalized by the Supreme Court and was on the blacklists of various states including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
In fact, in 2020, the Mumbai-based company was given a contract for conducting recruitment exams for the 643 posts under the irrigation department. The private firm conducted exams for 397 posts in the first phase with large-scale anomalies in February 2020. Following that, Gauhati High Court stayed the declaration of results of the examinations to select section assistants for the Assam irrigation department.
The Jammu Kashmir administration canceled four recruitment exams for police sub-inspectors in the home department, Junior Legal assistant, financial accounts assistant in the finance department, and junior engineers in the Jal Shakti department, following gross irregularities.
Exams conducted by the J&K Services Selection Board (JKSSB) through the blacklisted company Aptech Limited for positions of civil engineer, were cancelled by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in December 2022.
The court mandated that the government form a high-level committee under the leadership of at least one retired judge from the High Court to look into JKSSB’s actions regarding its “blatant” irregularities and violations of the law in altering the tender’s terms and conditions.
The court questioning the awarding of the contract to APTECH asked the JK admin, “Why it mattered to them to award a contract to conduct an exam by a company that has in the past encouraged unethical behavior in public exams and consequently initiate the corresponding actions against those found guilty.”
Irfan Ahmed, a candidate for a competitive exam, claimed in a conversation with website The Kashmiriyat that thousands of candidates for different positions were demanding that APTECH might not be permitted to hold any exams under the JKSSB.
He stated that the government had previously canceled similar exams conducted by the APTECH agency because it had consistently failed to provide transparency and accountability in conducting such an exercise. “We don’t understand why the Jammu Kashmir administration is recruiting them again, putting thousands of young people’s futures at stake,” Irfan said.
Aspirants alleged that the LG management and JKSSB were not serious about the future of the youth. “When the applicants sought help from the High Court, which ordered a judicial inquiry into the selection process of a blacklisted company, the next day, JKSSB challenged that ruling and allowed a blacklisted company to be known for its incompetence and an unsafe examination process”.
Irfan said that the candidates throughout Jammu Kashmir were urging that the APTECH company, which had been entrusted with administering the JKSSB exam, be prohibited because the company was blacklisted in various states.
The incident drew widespread criticism and anger in Kashmir. Several political parties also expressed their anguish over the selection of a blacklisted company to conduct the exams in Jammu Kashmir. Some even alleged that there was a “major scam” at work.
State Spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Imran Nabi Dar tweeted “JKSSB is the enfant terrible of the incumbent J&K administration.—APP