Last week, J&K Public Service Commission invited applications from J&K domiciles to appear in the prestigious J&K Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examination, 2022 for 220 posts of junior scale J&K Administrative Service, J&K Police Service and J&K Accounts Service.
As per PSC notification, the applications through online mode have been invited for appearing in examination in accordance with the rules laid down vide SRO-103 of 2018 dated February 23, 2018 and SO 61 of 2021, dated February 23, 2021, issued by General Administration Department Government of Jammu & Kashmir and up to date J&K Public Service Commission (Conduct of Examination) Rules.
With regard to the age, the contemporary rules state that the aspirant must have attained the age of 21 years but not attained the age of 32 years on 1st January of the year in which notification inviting applications is issued by the Commission.
The upper age limit shall be 34 years, in case of candidates belonging to Schedule Castes/Schedule Tribes/ RBA/Social Castes/ALC and candidates holding a civil post in the union territory in substantive capacity
However, for “good and sufficient reasons”, the Government may prescribe for any particular examination any other upper age limit for open category and reserved category candidates.
The government needs to use this clause— ‘good and sufficient reasons’—to allow an equal bite at the cherry to the candidates who have surpassed the age bar this year due to disruptions on account of the covid. Not only the pandemic affected businesses, it badly impacted the education sector. True the government allowed a one-time “exemption” last year for the same exam but the contention by many aspirants who now are age barred to appear in the examination should not be brushed aside. Rather it should be considered in a positive manner to allow them one last chance to appear in the examinations.
The government is aware about the disruptions caused by the pandemic and given the fact that the State is a welfare state, it should relax the upper age limit to allow the aspirants one last opportunity in a better environment as compared to previous pandemic-affected environment. The government must allow these aspirants an opportunity, taking into consideration disruptions and acknowledge their demand for their larger good.