In a significant decision Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha approved “relaxation” in the upper age limit for the ensuing Jammu and Kashmir Combined Competitive Examination (JKCCE).
As per an official statement, the decision was taken keeping in view the demands from aspirants and several delegations during a series of meetings with the Lieutenant Governor.
Now, the upper age limit for Open Merit Candidates will be “35 years” instead of 32 years, for Reserved Category & In-Service candidates 37 years instead of 34 years and 38 years for Physically Challenged candidates.
The government said that it understands the “aspirations” of youth and a decision has been taken to ensure JKCCE exams are conducted on regular basis unlike the past when these exams were held irregularly after a gap of many years.
The decision by the government is worth appreciation but relaxation for the open merit candidates should be in tune with the demand by the aspirants who wanted it to be 37 years as was the case prior to the latest SRO.
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 (now 35) on 1st January of the year in which notification inviting applications is issued by the Commission.
The upper age limit shall be 34 years (now 38), 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 upto 37 years for open merit candidates.