Former Chief Secretary BR Sharma to head Public Service Commission 

Former Chief Secretary BR Sharma to head Public Service Commission 

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, May 5: The government on Tuesday appointed J&K’s former chief secretary and incumbent chairman of Staff Selection Commission, BR Sharma as head of the Public Service Commission of the Union Territory.

According to a notification issued by the general administration department Sharma will continue as head of J&K’s prestigious recruiting agency till he attains age of 62 years. “In exercise of powers conferred by section 93 of the Jammu & Kashmir Re-organisation Act and S.O. 3937( E )dated, 31st October 2019 read with order issued in terms of sub-clause (i) of clause(c ) of the proclamation issued by the President dated 31st October 2019, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir is pleased to appoint B.R. Sharma, IAS(retd.) as chairman Public Service Commission for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir,” reads the notification issued by GAD.

Sharma, who served as Chief Secretary of J&K, proceeded on central deputation in 2017 after he was replaced by BB Vyas as CS.

During his stint at New Delhi, Sharma served additional secretary, MHA, secretary (border management) MHA and chairman Staff Selection Commission. He was also given two-year extension beyond April 30, 2020 when he attained superannuation.

This is for the first time when PSC head has been appointed under the provisions of Constitution of India whose all provisions were made applicable to J&K on August 5 last year. Under the Constitution of India, chairman and members of the Commission shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-two years, whichever is earlier.

However, under the J&K Constitution, chairman and member of the commission were empowered to hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.

The PSC was functioning without chairman and members from October 31, 2019 when Jammu & Kashmir got divided into two Union Territories. Citing the J&K Re- Organisation (Removal of Difficulties) Order 2019, the government in November last year ordered that chairman and members of PSC shall cease to function from October 31.

The PSC is mandated to conduct recruitment for prestigious gazette services including Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS), Kashmir Police Service (KPS) and other coveted services.

It was set -up under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir which came into force on January 26, 1957. The Re-organisation Act- the law which bifurcated the State- protected the body.

Sources in the GAD disclosed that government would also soon fill up vacancies of members in the prestigious body. “The process would start soon,” they said. (KNO)