In Jammu & Kashmir, which is under President’s rule, Kashmiri-language applicants for teaching positions in higher educational institutions have faced discrimination. Shehla Rashid, former vice-president of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union, has alleged that the central government is discriminating against the Kashmiri language and Kashmiri people. She is the general secretary of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples’ Movement.
Speaking to FORWARD Press over the phone, Shehla Rashid said that Kashmiri-language candidates were deliberately given low marks in the viva of the exam conducted by the Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC). Dogri- and Punjab-language candidates, on the other hand, were shown to have been impressive performers in vivas with good marks and appointed to posts meant for them. But 23 Kashmiri-language posts are still vacant. Rashid asked that when cut-off marks could be lowered to fill the Punjabi- and Dogri-language posts, why can’t the same be done for Kashmiri-language posts? She demanded the cut-off marks be reduced for Kashmiri-language posts, too, and the 23 vacant posts filled.
Back in 2017, JKPSC had issued an advertisement for 49 posts each of Kashmiri-language and Dogri-language teachers and 25 posts of Punjabi-language teachers. Two years later, on 20 June 2019, the results were finally declared. According to one of the candidates, Riaz Ahmed Nayak, 27 points were assigned for oral examination – 20 points for interviews and 7 for demo classes. Each of the 15 Punjabi-language candidates were given all of the 27 points. All Dogri-language applicants scored 26-27. But the Kashmiri-language candidates scored very low marks and consequently the posts they had applied for are still vacant.
Now, the matter is in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The high court has issued a notice to the commission and sought their response. The next hearing on this case has been scheduled for 5 August 2019.
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