Govt to cancel all KVIB recruitments over Goyal Committee report

JAMMU: 03 Dec 2018

Governor’s administration is likely to order cancellation of all the dubiously conducted recruitments in Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) in the last two years as the Goyal Committee has finally submitted its inquiry report after eight months to the Chief Secretary last week.

Highly placed official sources revealed told the three-member panel, comprising Chairman R.K. Goyal (Principal Secretary Home), Dr Pawan Kotwal (Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education) and Farooq Ahmad Shah (Secretary Irrigation, Flood Control and Public Health Engineering) completed its report in the middle of November and submitted the same to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam last week.

Following massive criticism and allegations of nepotism and favouritism in selection of Junior Statistical Assistants and Executive Officers, then head of the PDP-BJP Government Mehbooba Mufti had announced a thorough investigation in February this year. Those allegedly selected through fraudulent means, according to these reports, included Chief Minister’s cousin and son of her maternal uncle and then PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni.

Following then Chief Minister’s statement, the Government on March 20, 2018, constituted a three-member inquiry, comprising Goyal, Dr Kotwal and Farooq Ahmad Shah. It was asked to investigate all the allegations related to the selection process and appointment of the candidates and submit its report within a month. However, extension after extension, the report was finally submitted through General Administration Department to the Chief Secretary last fortnight.

While as Chairman of the inquiry panel R.K. Goyal did not respond to phone calls, one of the three members revealed to ST that the report had been submitted to the Governor through Chief Secretary last week. He said that with Chief Secretary’s observations, the report would go to Governor. “It has got nothing to do with SAC. It will go to Governor who has competence either to approve or reject it”, said a senior bureaucrat. “But it’s crystal clear that Governor would accept the inquiry committee recommendations”, he added.

This newspaper has learnt that the inquiry has established malafides in the whole selection process. The inquiry has questioned how the new selection and recruitment had been initiated in 2017 when the original selection process, advertised in 2014, was in progress and results of its written examination were yet to be declared.

The inquiry has established that the criteria for the fresh process of 2016 had been fixed by the KVIB Vice Chairman Peerzada Mansoor Hussain without competence and authority.

While no weightage was given to any experience, 40 marks were fixed for academic qualification and 30 each for the written test and viva voce. According to the inquiry, mala fides have been prima facie established. With the approval of then Minister of Industries and Chairman KVIB, the written exam was held in August 2017 and the viva voce in January 2018.

As soon as the results were declared by the Controller, there was a hue and cry over certain selections including that of the senior PDP leader Sartaj Madni’s son, Aroot Madni. Aroot reportedly tendered his resignation to protect the image of his father, sources insist that the KVIB Vice Chairman did not accept it. He instead asked the candidate to continue on the KVIB payrolls.

If well-placed sources are to be believed, Government would order cancellation of all the controversial selections and appointments in KVIB next week. These are now likely to be conducted by Subordinate Services Board.