Replace KAS with professionals in certain departments
R. B. SURI
A month back, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammed Sayeed came out openly and floated an innovative idea indeed for bringing in certain drastic improvements by bringing Professionals in certain departments of the Jammu and Kashmir Government to manage their affairs which at the moment, these very departments are being administered, controlled and commanded by the Senior KAS cadre. These departments are Tourism, Handlooms , Handicrafts.
The idea floated by Mufti Mohd. Sayeed was welcomed and appreciated by the number of people of the state and the experts in trade and other fields of life as the ongoing period is an era of specialization and excellence. These high profile Professionals have made the dent and managed the affairs of the Corporate exceptionally well in other parts of the country in bringing them on the strong footings and in delivering the profits as per the projections made by the in anticipation .
It is a nice thinking of the present Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir who took the reigns of the State Government on 1st March this year only.
If implemented in the right earnest, the state would be benefitted a lot. New wisdom of course indeed. In the growing economy which is moving very fast and also leaving aside the old traditions and the practices thereby adopt the new approach, methods and technology in our system and procedures for making the required amendments in the same so as to get the maximum returns out of it in the very interests of general masses of the state . If the Chief Minister remains successful in convincing the members of his band and wagon and bringing the changes in the concerned Statutes and convincing the authorities at the helm of affairs in the Government set up, the state would be benefitted a lot besides building up new culture in the government in bringing the sea change in delivering the goods to the general masses as also making the unviable units as viable ones.
To begin with let these three departments such as Tourism, Handlooms and Handicrafts be allowed to engage the Professionals to govern the affairs of these departments in the first phase for at least three years. Let there be no political interference at all, if the Mufti Government really wants to see the positive results and these Professionals be given a free hand to go ahead in administering their affairs as also for the furtherance of their business after taking the nod from the State Government which is MUST always. Let these Professional be taken on Contractual Assignment basis to prove their credentials and worth of course in the field in which they would be asked to deliver their best out of their expertise and potential as well. This will be just an experience or a trial for the Government.
If it goes well and give the required yields, the state in the second phase should opt for the other departments such as Horticulture, Agriculture, Rural Development, Power, Transport etc. to engage the Professionals to prove their ability and worth. Apart from the Government set ups, the Autonomous Bodies should also be taken on this score . Let these also be managed and administered by these Professionals trained professionally for the specific purpose. After seeing the success of the experience in these departments, the autonomous bodies may be taken lateron.
Mufti’s analysis and the diagnosis of the ongoing abnormal things in administration are up to the mark and extraordinary one as he is the man with ” Broad Vision ” and with sharp brain and aptitude as well. He floated his political party only one and a half decade back in the state and remained successful in capturing power for the second time in just less than seven years period in an alliance with unusual partner – the BJP.
Let KAS cadre officers be deployed in the departments where they are to play the Quasi Judicial Role i.e. Cooperatives , Revenue Excise, Taxation besides Estates etc. as was prevailing prior to 1984. KAS Officers were deployed from the PSC selections as also from the in service officers from these department in the Gazetted cadre of the State Government up to 1977 besides KAS Accounts and KPS. Later after 1984, 14 more Gazetted services were brought under this set up including the officers from the Planning and Development Statistical wing besides 10 per cent quota form the autonomous bodies of the State Government such as SICOP, SIDCO, Handlooms ,Handicrafts, JAKFED etc. also brought within the preview of the KAS cadre. Services included in 14 services were including SWD , Block Development, Labour etc. etc.. These were such services where the Gazetted officers of these departments were not required to play the Quasi Judicial Role while discharging the duties in these departments . By doing all this, KAS lost its sanctity and dignity as the blue eyed and favourites made their entry into this prestigious service from time to time. Prior to 1967, KAS cadre officers were at the senior level of administration in the J and K state and later KAS became the feeding service to IAS for providing administrative cadre to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The affairs of Tourism, Handlooms and Handicrafts Departments are being managed by the KAS cadre officers of the state at the moment and they have gone to the level of Commissioners and the Secretaries in the state and they have to work on the postings as ordered by the State Government from time to time and with their shifting they are not in a position to contribute more efficiently and in the administrative process which is beyond their control , become the rolling stones and with the result their performance become dismal whereas the same is not with these Professionals, they are required /under the obligation to remain stick to one post and at one administrative branch as they are misfit for the other branch. Certainly they would be able to give the better output and and performance excellently , if the Professionals run the given departments. By taking the Professionals from the open competitive market and engaging them in these departments would definitely perform better rather than KAS officers and put these departments on the rails once again. Mufti Sahib should put the innovative idea into action without any further delay. In the month of May, he had gone to New Delhi and Mumbai for extending invitation to the Corporate and the Bollywood dignitaries to invest in the State of Jammu and Kashmir as also come for shooting the films in the valley so as to enable the state to get the last glory back once again. By adopting the new and innovative strategies and methods to run the state, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohd. Sayeed and Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu would be pitching for systemic and schematic changes to give a fillip to the economy of the state. Mufti’s Government initiatives such as New Industrial Policy, New Excise Policy, Outsourcing of Lakhanpur Toll Plaza, Replacing of KAS officers with Professionals in certain departments are bound to deliver the goods definitely. The Government is likely to get the + ve results with minimum intervention in maintaining a better and friendly interface on this score with other stake holders in order to boost the local potentials and the industry as well.