Srinagar: Massive protests by job aspirants forced the Jammu and Kashmir administration to postpone recruitment exams being conducted by a controversial blacklisted agency.
The decision was taken a day after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha targeted opposition parties for instigating protests by students and job aspirants who have been demanding fair exams and refusing to appear for recruitment tests by the tainted agency.
Earlier, the administration defended its controversial decision to hire a previously blacklisted private agency, Aptech Limited, for holding recruitment exams.
The computer-based tests through the private agency that were to start tomorrow have been deferred till further orders, tweeted Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board.
On Monday, Mr Sinha said that there are deliberate attempts to stall recruitments and asked protesting job aspirants not to be misled by the leaders who have given jobs to “terrorists and their relatives”.
As the decision to defer exams was announced, Ravinder Raina, J&K BJP president was the first to congratulate protesting job aspirants.
Recently, Mr Raina deleted a tweet soon after he uploaded a video in which he had talked about a series of recruitment scams under the Lt Governor’s administration and demanded job exams through a credible agency.
Last year, large-scale protests forced the Lt Governor’s administration to cancel recruitment lists for sub-inspectors in J&K Police and three other departments after massive corruption and manipulation were found in recruitment.
Exams were announced afresh. But the administration awarded the contract to Aptech, an agency that has been blacklisted by various states, and also imposed a penalty by the Delhi High court for alleged fraud and manipulations in recruitment.
The CBI is investigating four recruitment scams and several people have already been arrested.
Despite the grave allegations, the Lt Governor insists that no wrongdoing has happened.
“Be assured, no wrongdoing has happened and no wrongdoing will be allowed to happen,” Mr Sinha said on Monday.
Over the last week, protests were held in Jammu, Srinagar and several other districts demanding fair exams and a transparent recruitment process.
In December, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court reacted strongly to the administration allotting a contract to Aptech.
“A blacklisted agency has been allowed to compete in the tendering process and the commercial interest has outweighed the public interest,” the court had said.
But just a day after the order, a division bench of the High Court stayed the single bench’s judgment.
Recently, the division bench set aside the single bench order and asked the court to hear the case afresh. The protesting job aspirants say the decision is being challenged before the Supreme Court.