Exercising the powers conferred by the article 309 provisions of the Constitution of India, the Lieutenant Governor today issued a new set of directives for new appointees joining the Government of J&K at various levels in different posts with respect to conditions of probation, pay, annual increments, allowance, and fixation of initial tenure of appointment.
In a big relief for appointments to various posts, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday announced new rules, which state that the current probation period of five years be reduced to two years. In another major step, the state administration also scrapped the controversial SRO-202, which means that no fresh appointments shall be made under it.
The new appointees for all posts under the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be governed by new probationary rules titled, 'Jammu and Kashmir Probationer (condition of service, pay, and allowances) and Fixation of Tenure rule 2020.
The new rules coming into effect from today, June 17, 2020, states that "No person shall be eligible for confirmation as a member of a class or service, till he has been on probation in such service or class in continuous or for an aggregate period of 2 years."
Why is probation mandated by the Government of J&K?
During the probation period, if a probationer fails to acquire the prescribed qualification or prescribed tests as required and suggested by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, then the government will be required to extend the probation period by another 2 years more, as the maximum threshold, in any case, will not be more than 2 years.
The government may also extend the probation period, in case the probationer fails to meet the requirements or standards of the job.
However, at any point in time, before the period of probation comes to an end, the Government authority may decide to suspend the probation of a probationer and discharge him from service for want of vacancy, or at the appointee's discretion choose to terminate the probation and discharge him from service.
Also, if during the period of probation, the new appointee or the probationer fails to acquire the prescribed qualification or pass the prescribed tests or any other such qualification as considered equivalent by the Government for said posts, then the government by the authority will terminate the probationer and discharge him from service.
In case the probationer has appeared for all tests and acquired any or all such qualifications as required by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, and the results of these tests are not known before the expiry of the probation period, then the probationer will continue his probation until the test and examination results are declared.
In case the probationer fails to pass the examination and tests he has appeared, then the Government authority by an order will discharge the new appointee (probationer) from service with immediate effect.
If a probationer has acquired any special qualification or passed any special tests or has acquired any other such qualification as may be considered equivalent by the Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir for the said posts, then the probationer will not have to acquire such special qualification or pass special tests again during the period of probation.
What happens when the probation is satisfactorily completed?
The appointing authority will consider the probationer suitable for membership, if he has passed the necessary tests and examinations, acquired necessary qualification as required of the Government, then the appointing authority without any further delay will declare the probationer as to have satisfactorily completed his probationary period, except in cases when the probation period has been extended by another 2 years.
If no declaration has been made by the appointing authority within 90 days after the expiry of the prescribed period of probation, then the probationer shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed his period of probation on the date of expiry of the period, except in cases wherein the probationer has been granted an extension of another 2 years.
If no order is issued by the appointing authority 90 days after the expiry of the period of probation, or within 30 days of the publication of results of tests and examination, whichever is later, then the probationer is considered to have satisfactorily completed his probation on the date of the expiry of the prescribed period.
Pay, allowance, and fixation of tenure for new appointees
As per the new rules, the appointee governed by the new rules and under probation by the Government will be entitled to a minimum pay level as applicable to the post, against which he is appointed.
Also on completion of the probationary period, every appointee in any post under the Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir will be entitled to fixed pay, as applicable and set against the post, plus annual increment, dearness allowance, House Rent Allowance (HRA) and City Compensatory Allowance (CCA) or any other such allowances as and when sanctioned by the government, will be applicable.
Further, the new appointee will also be entitled to benefits under the Medical Attendance Rules and Leave Rules from the date of his appointment itself. The new appointee under the Government of J&K will have to necessarily work for a fixed tenure of five years on the post.
About the SRO 202 Rule
The SRO 202 rule was enacted in J&K under the regime of the PDP-BJP coalition. The social and civil society groups had expressed interest against the rule but the Govt had still gone ahead with it.
Under the SRO 202, an appointee, during the period of first five years, was only entitled to the minimum of scale of pay along with the grade pay applicable to the post on which he or she was appointed.
Before getting any benefit of fixation of pay, every appointee had to complete five years period on probation.
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