J&K Bank concludes massive recruitment tests. In 4 days, 1.2 lac aspirants appear for online exams. Winding the first phase of its massive recruitment drive, J&K Bank today concluded the online-examination for the posts of Probationary officer (PO) and Banking Associate (BA) smoothly and successfully in which around 117000 candidates appeared at 52 centers set up in Jammu, Kashmir, Leh, and outside the state.
More than 144000 aspirants had applied for the online tests that were held directly by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), Mumbai – an agency of impeccable track record – with technical expertise from the globally acclaimed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In five-shifts every day, out of 37512 applicants, 30198 candidates appeared in the online tests for the post of Probationary Officer (PO) on 22nd April while as out of 107198 aspirants, 86683 candidates appeared for the post of Banking Associate (BA) on 24th, 25th, and 26th of April 2019 across the state and outside. The centers included numerous educational institutions and training institutes across the state besides the bank’s Corporate Office, Zonal headquarters and other offices.
Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmed, who personally oversaw the examinations online from the bank’s corporate headquarters expressed happiness over the smooth and successful conduct of the overall exams.
Chairman said, “Given the huge number of applications we received and the kind of massive infra-structural arrangements that were required to conduct these examinations online in J&K, I really think that the team J&K Bank has really pulled off a great feat with exceptional competence and required patience. Commending the teamwork and flawless execution”, he said,
“I really feel proud to see that every staff member took pains to ensure that every candidate is treated with compassion and made comfortable while conducting the examination in a fair and transparent manner. I believe that the candidates must have found it one of their best experiences of the Brand J&K Bank”, he added.
The chairman who looked visibly satisfied, asserted, “The recruitment drive for POs and BAs is part of our larger strategy to augment our resource base further by hiring the best available talent in the state and sustain the organizational momentum towards excellence in business besides creating right-mix of experience, energy, and innovation in our HR base.”
In order to ensure smooth conduct of the online recruitment examinations, the bank had established a three-tier Executive Committee structure headed by Executive President (C) and supported by Presidents and Vice Presidents down the line. The designated Presidents and Vice Presidents were part of the special supervisory teams constituted to oversee the smooth conduct of the tests besides monitoring the entire process and progress of these examinations.
Besides, control rooms were set up at the corporate headquarter and at Zonal Office Jammu for monitoring the examinations online and special teams headed by officers from the executive committee the structure were constituted that visited the centers throughout these days ensuring utmost transparency.
On the occasion, Executive President Rajesh Kumar Chhibber, who headed the Multi-tier Executive Structure thanked all the state agencies for extending their support to accomplish such an uphill task and hoped they will continue to do so in future as well.
He said, “On behalf of J&K Bank I extend heartfelt gratitude to all the institutions, agencies and individuals in the state and outside for their kind and timely support thatmade this hugely valuable exercise for the youth of state successful today.”
“I also congratulate my colleagues in the bank, for smooth conduct of exams and hope, we shall continue to accomplish the assigned tasks with exceeding diligence and commitment to realize our leadership’s 2022 vision”, said the visibly happy Executive President.
Notably, the bank had conducted many Mock Test drills across the designated venues besides making links for demo/mock online test available for the candidates on its website for hands-on experience.
Candidates, parents hail bank for flawless arrangements. Throughout the exams, J&K Bank had made all the necessary arrangements for the specially-abled candidates to ensure their safety, dignity and had dedicated a staff member to accompany every specially-abled candidate to the exam halls. Moreover the facility for downloading of call-letters in case of need was also kept available at the examination venues. As a goodwill gesture the candidates who were not able to make it to the examination venue dueto some disturbance were allowed to appear on the next day.
The candidates hailed the responsible and disciplined demeanour of bank staff. Both candidates and their parents expressed satisfaction and thanked the bank for the flawless and foolproof arrangement for the candidates at the exam venues.
“I have appeared in many examinations during the last few years but this is one of the most organized online tests so far. The arrangements were good and the staff is sensitive and disciplined. I think there is a lot that other agencies and institutions in the state can learn about the culture of conduct and execution of such exercises from J&K Bank.”, said Umar, a candidate from Central Kashmir at the exam venue.
“I accompanied my daughter from Kokernag area and was very apprehensive before I reached here. But the way all the candidates especially girls were treated and guided to the examination venues was very assuring for mothers like me. I pray that my daughter gets a chance to work at J&K Bank because I feel it is really a great institution for girls towork in”, said Haleema Jan, a senior teacher from South Kashmir.
Meanwhile, despite repeated instructions from the bank; the candidates had carried bags, mobiles, and other stuff along, for which cloak-room facility was extended for the safe custody of these belongings.
Things are not as innocent as presented by the new administrative head of higher education. His decision not to issue fresh applications on the excuse of code of conduct fails the logic why advertisement for the annual academic arrangement was not issued in the month of January or February as it used to be issued every year? If elections were scheduled in April why was the tenure of academic arrangement extended by one month instead of seeking fresh applications? Was it the first time that these elections are scheduled to happen in Kashmir? Weren’t applications invited in 2014 when last Lok Sabha polls were held?
Moreover, if the University of Kashmir invited applications for academic arrangement for the current academic session in time, why did the Higher Education Department fail to do so? And, if the university extended opportunities for fresh candidates to apply why could not Higher Education Department follow same? The ambiguous silence on the part of Higher Education Department and its mode of functioning is the cause of jittery among many aspirants. Moreover, the University of Kashmir came up with a new procedure of appointment for academic arrangement which is purely based on the latest UGC Regulations. Same is not clear about the Higher Education department. Ideally, there should not be arbitrary procedures of selection when the recent UGC Guidelines regarding the procedure of selection of teaching faculty are already being enforced by higher education institutions across the country.
At the face of it, one feels that education has never been the priority of the government. Unsurprisingly, the government remembered everything to do in time except issuing advertisement notice or the appointment of new teachers on the academic arrangement. All it can do is to open up new colleges that lack basic facilities, including faculty. What a strange coincidence! The Secretary Higher Education should not be ignorant of the fact that hundreds of students take the arduous journey of attaining higher education every year with the hope that attaining such qualifications would provide them the opportunities to serve in degree colleges when there are little job avenues in other areas. This lackadaisical attitude of the government only disincentivizes and discourages the appetite for higher education. This obliviously does not augur well for the higher education sector of the state.
The situation is particularly baffling when the government also knows that there are little job opportunities in other sectors of the economy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Higher Education Department’s Secretary is bound to answer why the lack of opportunities to highly educated youth should not be construed as an attempt to push this educated section towards despondency and alienation. It is not difficult to understand that lack of transparency and sense of urgency in the system breeds ground for contempt and, hence, dents the legitimacy of the state.
Not lately the despotic bureaucracy – after taking full advantage of the absence of popular government – played havoc with the career of thousands of unemployed educated youth when ReTs were converted into general line teachers, thus, depriving the highly educated youth opportunity of employment. These ReTs should have been regularized without denying the unemployed candidates fair opportunities of employment. Ironically, candidates having qualified highly competitive exams such as SLET, NET/JRF or having completed their M.Phil, Ph.D. and Post Doc degrees from reputed universities are applying for jobs in private schools at humiliating wage rates.
No bureaucrat should have this luxury to play with the hopes and aspirations of the highly qualified eligible candidates by not democratizing the employment opportunities in the education sector and elsewhere. The sense prevails that the Higher Education Department of the state is in a deep mess as ‘few elites’ are serving vested interests and causing frustration for thousands of unemployed youth whose merit is being trampled by callous approach of the government. The absence of representative government allows these elites the space to run over the genuine concerns of the higher education.
It is still high time for the new Secretary Higher Education to clean the mess up by dispensing with the ad-hoc and arbitrary approach that has been the hallmark of the department. A non-compromising approach towards upholding merit would bring competent human resources in the department and increase the productivity of the sector. Hope good sense prevails.
The author is a Doctoral Fellow at Centre of Advanced Study in History at Aligarh Muslim University.
Via: GK Opinion