Ladakh to be added as new exam centre for UPSC Civil Service exam, other eligibility tests

The minister said this historic reform will provide a level playing field to all the candidates, regardless of their background or socio-economic status.

Inaugurating a two-day workshop on capacity building for Ladakh officials at Leh, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday announced that Ladakh will have centres for conducting civil services examination and common eligibility test for the central government recruitment for the convenience of aspirants.

He said that goals and targets set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Union Territory of Ladakh would be met in time to make it one of the best UTs in the country.

The decision taken on August 5, 2019 (related to carving two Union territories out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir) will bring all new possibilities to this new UT as the prime minister is persistently pursuing its development agenda, said Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel.

For the convenience of the youth aspirants, Ladakh will have its own exclusive centre for holding of civil services exam, which will be set up at Leh and will become functional next month with the holding of civil services (preliminary) exam, he said.

Singh said this will address a long-pending demand of the youth from the Ladakh region whose grievance was that they found it difficult to reach examination centres in other parts of the country because of the constraints of affordability of air fare and uncertain weather conditions.

Similarly, the common eligibility test (CET), planned through the recently-constituted National Recruitment Agency, will have one Centre each in the districts of Leh and Kargil, respectively, the minister said.

Singh said that the CET will be conducted across the country from early 2022 and Ladakh will have two centers at Leh and Kargil to screen or shortlist candidates for jobs in the government sector for which recruitment is presently carried out through the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

He said this is not only a governance reform but a huge social reform for the job aspirant youth living in remote and far-flung areas.

The minister said this historic reform will provide a level playing field to all the candidates, regardless of their background or socio-economic status.

There will also be a huge benefit to women and Divyang candidates and for those who find it financially unaffordable to appear for multiple tests by travelling to multiple Centres, he said.

Singh said ISRO is also working on to set up a night sky planetarium at the Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle near Leh.

He said the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will soon have an exclusive plan to promote, process and do the business of the famous Ladakh fruit called Leh berry, according to a Personnel Ministry statement issued here.

In his address, Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur said that ever since the new UT came into being, the prime minister is personally pushing out in every central ministry and department the development paradigm of Ladakh.

He said there are some challenges for building completely new administrative structure in Ladakh as there are shortages of officers and they have to get familiar with the new laws, rules and procedures.

Mathur complimented the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) for organising the capacity building workshop and said this will go a long way in imparting training to officials of the UT.

He said every citizen of Ladakh can now redress his or her grievance through CPGRAMS, an online portal, as it has become operative in Ladakh.

Sanjay Singh, Secretary, DARPG, said in his address that the capacity building workshop is the first ever such event being held in Ladakh, which will truly empower the government officials to become fully familiar with the Union laws on procurement and financial management, Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure(CSMOP), eOffice and digital governance. V Srinivas, Additional Secretary, DARPG and other senior officials addressed the inaugural event.

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