Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amendments to J&K Administrative Service Rules for benefit of few

KASHMIR TIMES, October 31, 2007

Amendments to J&K Administrative Service Rules for benefit of few
Syed Basharat

(Mr. Syed Basharat, 26, was born in Kreeri, Baramulla, and did his schooling in Kreeri, and later in Uri and Sopore. He graduated from the Degree College in Baramulla and completed his Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Kashmir University in 2005. He has been a reporter for Kashmir Images, a Srinagar based daily, London based website Gaashonline.Com, and a Srinagar based journal, Globe. Currently, he is working as a special correspondent with Jammu based daily newspaper, The Kashmir Times.)

The amendments made to J&K Administrative Service Rules are being manipulated to benefit a handful of officers. The recent promotions given to five KAS officers from special to super time scale and 40 officers from selection grade of KAS to its special scale provides an ample proof of the game plan.

The promotions have been questioned by most of the KAS officers with different view points. The recent amendment to J&K administration service rules 1979, vide notification SRO 271 dated July 28, 2007 whereby the selection grade posts were reduced from 33.33 per cent to 30 per cent of duty posts (408 posts) which in turn reduced the number of selection grade posts in KAS cadre from 136 to 123 though practically 117 posts have been shown as selection grade posts which means 6 posts of selection grade have not been mentioned.

Vide the same notification number the number of special scale posts were increased from 45 to 87 that means 42 posts were added by recasting rule 2 (A) which states that the number of special scale posts shall be 20 per cent of the duty posts (408) including the 10 posts of super time scale where as earlier the number of special scale posts was equivalent to 33.33 per cent of the selection grade posts that is 1/3 of 136 posts which equals to 45 posts.

The 20 per cent of 408 if mathematical calculations are drawn correctly equals to 81 posts but where from other 6 posts have been added to this figure one can simply draw some conclusions.
Sources believe that these 42 special scale posts were increased simply to accommodate favoured officers who are at the helm of affairs in CM's secretariat, KAS Association, GAD and the backdoor appointees.

Even if the number of special scale posts is taken as 87 as has been shown in the annexure to SRO 271 the number of officers already holding the posts before issuance of the recent order was 61 which means only 26 officers were entitled to be promoted to the special scale but instead 40 officers have been promoted in violation of rules and amendments.

Sources added that in order to keep the favourite officers including one officer in GAD who is for the last over 20 years since his date of first appointment posted in the same department, one in KAS association and the one working in CM's secretariat in good humor the recent promotions were ordered. The officer in CM's secretariat along with another officer have been cleared in anticipation against the posts which would become available due to the retirement of two officers on Nov 30, 2007.

Earlier an amendment was made in KAS rules in 2001 when the selection grade posts were increased from 128 to 136 because the same group of officers was to get the benefits, sources revealed.

Meanwhile, the officers who are in time scale unhappy with the government for reducing the selection grade posts from 136 to 117 to accommodate the blue eyed officers for grant of special scale by correspondingly increasing the special scale posts.

"Some officers who have been appointed through Combined Service exams in 1984, 1992 and 1999 have not even been inducted into KAS cadre. Some officers have been made to file writ petitions in the court regarding seniorities, KAS induction and Annual Performance Report (APR) and there cases are not been settled by the GAD while as a particular group which includes some backdoor appointees enjoy promotions after promotions," said a time scale officer pleading anonymity.

The state government on Saturday ordered promotion of five KAS officers from special to super time scale and 40 officers from selection grade of KAS to its special scale. According to a government communiqu‚ the recent promotions have been made as a follow up to the last cabinet decision to expand the cadre span of KAS and to augment promotional opportunities to KAS officers.

According to the order, the five KAS officers promoted from special to super time scale of Rs 18400 -22400. Forty KAS officers promoted from selection grade to special scale of Rs 14000-18300 of KAS on officiating basis. While as the promotion of two officers shall take effect from December 1. The principal secretary to government (GAD) Khurshid Ahmad Ganaie and KAS Association president Farooq Ahmad Renzu were not available for the comment.

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