Girish Chand Murmu, a 1985-batch IAS (retd) officer of the Gujarat cadre, the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has the tough task of streamlining the Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS). It is no secret that except for the IAS and IPS cadre, most of the state services are in shambles. J&K was administratively almost closed for Government of India as the centre could not interfere in state services. It is alleged that the Chief Ministers of J&K kept appointing and promoting staff on their whims and fancies. Senior officers were astonished to find that some KAS officers were not even graduates, which is the bare minimum qualification to become an officer. Not only that, “some of these backdoor and under qualified KAS officers occupying prime posts in the administration were forwarded for induction into IAS totally bypassing the rules and depriving senior KAS officers of their right.” Sources also disclosed that a high-level official panel has submitted its report to the J&K administration for mitigating the seniority dispute of many KAS officers as there have been allegations of favouritism, illegal promotions and backdoor appointments. Sources disclosed a committee was constituted on March 2.
They said, “The report on the issue of the seniority of a large number of the KAS officers has been submitted to the government for resolution of decade-long dispute as per rules.” The seniority list of officers should be prepared based on year-wise vacancy while “backdoor appointees’ should be placed at the bottom of that particular year, the report is believed to have suggested. Those who do not possess the minimum qualification of graduation should be placed completely at the bottom of the list irrespective of the year of “backdoor appointee’s empanelment,” it has suggested. It is learnt that there are clear-cut directions from Lieutenant Governor Murmu and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to resolve the dispute once and for all strictly as per the rules without any favouritism and pressure.