The Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh on Thursday said that several governance reforms were introduced in J&K after it became Union Territory (UT) which were not there earlier.
Addressing the capacity building programme for senior officers of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS), he said that the Prevention of Corruption Act of India with its amended form was introduced in J&K last year whereas in the past the then State of Jammu & Kashmir had its own Anti-Graft Law.
“The new Act will not only be more effective in curbing corruption but also provide several safeguards to honestly performing officers, like, for example, the bribe-giver will be equally guilty as the bribe-taker and permission for prosecution against an officer will have to be obtained at all levels, whereas in the past this privilege was only available to the officers at the level of Joint Secretary and above,” the Minister said.
The abolition of interview for recruitment based solely on written tests was also introduced in J&K only recently, he added.
The Minister regretted that for several years, the ‘Cadre Review’ of the Civil Services officers was deferred or delayed by the erstwhile State government but now the officers of the Union Territory have been directly reporting to the Centre and the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has initiated the exercise to expeditiously conduct Cadre Review. This will also help in timely promotions as well as timely induction of UT officers into All India Services like the IAS, the Minister said.
Singh also called upon the J&K officers to adopt best practices in governance being followed at the Centre as well as several state governments and replicate them in their respective areas of work.
With the kind of patronage and support being offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu & Kashmir, the Minister said that this was an opportunity for administrators and civil servants there to establish a new work culture aimed at obtaining the ultimate objective of ease of living for every citizen through the mantra of “Maximum Governance Minimum Government”.
Exhorting the officers who have now undergone training to empower themselves with new ethos and practices, he said that the DoPT seeks to provide an officer friendly environment that will propel the administrative system to work for the people and ensure that grievances are handled in a prompt and efficient manner.