PESHAWAR: After failing to fill more than 100 posts despite the holding of the National Testing Service test over a year ago, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mines and mineral development department has decided it will go for internal process to make those appointments and fill 172 other vacancies.
The candidates, who sat the test, and relevant officials told Dawn that the mines department had advertised 114 project posts in Jan last year.
The department also conducted the screening test through the NTS but now after making the passing candidates wait for over a year it has re-advertised the posts to be filled through internal process.
The first advertisement bearing number INF (P) 5826 was issued to the newspapers earlier in Jan 2016 soliciting applications for 114 posts of BS-9 to BS-16.
Dept to make over 100 appointments through internal process despite NTS test
The department said the NTS test would be used for the screening and shortlisting process wherein candidates for BS-16 posts paid Rs500 fee and those for BS-16 and below Rs400 to sit the test.
An official said around 7,000 candidates applied for the slots through the NTS.
The NTS conducted tests for the said vacancies on three consecutive days i.e. Feb 19, 20 and 21, while the test results were declared on Thursday. However, the successful candidates were made to wait for over a year.
To the amazement of such candidates, the mines department re-advertised 286 posts through advertisement No INF (P) 1212. Among them were 114 posts for which the NTS has already conducted the screening test.
The department asked those who previously appeared in the NTS advertisement to apply afresh and said only the shortlisted candidates would be called for test and interview.
Mohsin Khan, a candidate from Kohat, who appeared in the NTS screening test, told Dawn that the cancellation of the NTS test showed that the department’s was not coming clean on this issue.
“We waited for more than a year for the recruitment process to complete. However, neither merit list was displayed nor was the interview schedule announced. When I sought the information from the department under the KP Right to Information Act 2013, officials told me to wait in light of the cases pending against the minister and secretary mines department,” he said.
The candidate said he was shocked to see the department again advertise the posts earlier this month and ask candidates to apply for the same positions for which they had already cleared the entrance test and waiting for the completion of other formalities.
“It is injustice to the candidates who have already appeared in the screening test and cleared it,” he said, adding that the government has done away with the NTS screening and fill the vacancies on their own and thus, questioning the credibility of the entire process.
However, a mines department official said the department had re-advertised the slots in light of the guidance of the establishment department as the posts weren’t filled within six months.
He also acknowledged that the hiring of contractual employees through the NTS was not a proper thing to do in the first place, as under the project hiring policy, there was marks allowed to all qualifications by a candidate and they were unable to adjust NTS marks of candidates in this criterion.
The official said the NTS screening was usually done for hiring employees on permanent basis and not for the projects and that as these vacancies were for a project, there was no need for hiring through the NTS.
He said the NTS results had been declared null and void and that the special teams tasked with short-listing and selecting candidates had been formed that were likely to take a month to complete the entire process.
An establishment department official requesting anonymity said under the rules, if the employment process failed to complete within six months, it was carried out afresh.
Both the minister and secretary mines and mineral development were not available for comments despite repeated attempts.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017