December 2017 News

Civil Services: Diminishing Representation From Kashmir

24 December 2017
Greater Kashmir
Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari

Srinagar: The results of Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) exam were recently announced by the J&K Public Services Commission. Only 13 candidates have made it to the service from Kashmir division against 36 from Jammu. This skewed representation is also sometimes seen against Jammu division in some services. Concerns expressed in this regard by some sections of society are genuine as it is important to have equitable representation from all the communities, faiths & regions in such an important service. Equal representation in services actually serves as a badge of honour for any State and Service. But the Public Services Commission has just done a commendable job by upholding the merit. It is the low level of participation rather than the low success ratio of Kashmiri candidates that is the root cause of this low representation. On an average 2-3rd of the applicants are from Jammu division and only 1-3rd from Kashmir division. This story is repeated year after year and the results by the very statistical probability cannot be any better. Kashmiri girls are performing well in many other areas but unfortunately they are not encouraged to attempt the KAS exam. We are still overly wedged in Medical and Engineering careers. Same is the case with UPSC where only 3% Muslims figure in the final list even when Muslims comprise 14% population of the country. When you don't appear, how will you succeed? It is simple. The more we apply, the greater will be the number of students who crack the exam. There are other unfortunate factors which play at our place. The general disillusionment of youth with the system is an inhabiting factor. Then you see the overall situation in valley. More often we have a state of disturbance, the internet blockade and a host of other unnatural things which deny students an atmosphere conducive for studies that is so important for this long-drawn exam. Somewhere the lack of ambition and a hardworking attitude among our youth is also contributing. Among Jammu students I have also seen culture of group studies, which is lacking among the Kashmiri students. Students from Chenab valley and Pir Panjal come to Jammu city and stay in hostels or PG arrangement for their studies. It immensely helps them. Group study helps you to break monotony, get new perspectives on a topic of study and helps you to overcome procrastinating tendencies in your studies. While it keeps your motivation level high, you also get know the actual level of competition. We have also seen that the Public Service Commission conducts the all important Mains examination, accounting for some 90% of the total marks, in winter months. By asking the students to write this high profile, high pressure exam in the chilling month of February, PSC certainly is not giving them a level playing field. Frequent litigations have also spoiled this prestigious exam which can be easily avoided at the PSC level to inspire more and more bright and serious students to take up this exam. Some of these factors are beyond our control. But some of them can certainly be improved upon with some extra efforts by the students, parents and the society. Parents need to encourage our boys and girls to choose this career. But my personal advice for the students is that there will be not many who will go out of their way to help you. And there will be even fewer who will deliberately want to hinder you. It is up to you to make a success or failure of your career and effort. Take up this challenge, you can do it.