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A form at Rs 200: SHRC pulls up SSB for ‘fleecing’ unemployed youth

Greater Kashmir, Srinagar, 11 March - The Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Monday pulled up the Service Selection Board (SSB) for charging Rs 200 per form from unemployed youth of the State, terming the move as a human rights violation and “sheer blackmailing.”

The Commission took suo-moto cognizance of a report “Govt hits jackpot: Earns Rs 7 cr from unemployed JK youth, 306 lakh forms being sold @Rs 200 each” published in Greater Kashmir last month.

“After going through the contents of the newspaper item, I prima facie feel that the cost of the form has been fixed at an exorbitant rate. In the first instance, let secretary of SSB JK appear and justify the price component fixed for the requisite forms floated for employment of unemployed youth of the Valley. The secretary SSB will also produce a specimen form for which Rs 200 has been fixed as price by the SSB. Secretary SSB J&K be served through Dy SP SHRC sub-office Jammu,” SHRC member Rafiq Fida observed in the order.

“It is sheer blackmailing to charge exorbitant amount for a simple sheet of paper worth few rupees from unemployed youth in lieu of providing them employment. The Commission wants to know by which authority and norms people at helm of the SSB have fixed such an exorbitant price for the form,” Fida told Greater Kashmir. 

The SHRC member said on one hand the Government has been making announcements to explore avenues for providing employment to unemployed youth while in the instant case, the unemployed youth are being fleeced by the SSB in the name of providing employment. “Ironically, besides the exorbitant form rates, the hapless unemployed youth have to shelve out more money for getting affidavits even before being employed. Government recruitment agencies like SSB can’t act as private companies and transform the recruitment process into a mere money minting process,” Fida said.

Fida said the SSB and related agencies are provided with ample funds by the Government to undertake the recruitment process. “The Commission in larger public interest wants to know how SSB spends the Government funds and money generated by sale of forms to the unemployed,” he added.

Pertinently, in the run up to 2014 Assembly elections, the government is contemplating to fast-track recruitment to nearly 80,000 vacant posts. However, the latest recruitment drive has raised apprehensions among the unemployed youth that “this too would prove to be a money-minting mantra for the government.”


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