The much-delayed induction of members in the almost defunct Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) will take place on Thursday. At present, the commission has only two appointees - acting chairman Manbir Bhadana and member Jai Singh Sangwan.
The four new members, Sarita Tayal, Jaganath, Surender Kumar Sharma and Dr Harvinder Pal, would be administered the oath of office and secrecy by governor Jaganath Pahadia at Haryana Raj Bhawan on Thursday.
Acting chairman Manbir Bhadana would be appointed full-time chairman of the commission and will also be administered the oath of office. One post of member will still remain vacant in the commission after Thursday's ceremony.
The choice of the new members indicates that proximity to the ruling party is a key factor in their selection. While Sarita Tayal, a retired college principal, is the wife of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's former principal secretary ML Tayal, the second new member Jaganath is a cousin of union minister Kumari Selja. Surender Kumar Sharma is an old associate of Hooda and comes from Kharkhauda assembly segment in Sonepat. Dr Harvinder Pal, the district Congress president in Palwal, is also a close Hooda associate.
The Cabinet in December 2012 reduced the number of members in the HPSC from 12 to six. In 2008, the Congress government had increased the strength of the commission from eight to 12 (excluding the chairman) and appointed four new members since nine members, including the HPSC chairman appointed by the previous Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) regime, were placed under suspension by the governor on grounds of misbehaviour.
The nine suspended members were eventually removed in 2010 from the commission by a Presidential order on an inquiry by the Supreme Court.
Recruitments to get impetus
With a full-fledged commission in place, it is expected that recruitments will now get a push, particularly as the state prepares to enter into an election year. The new inductions come at a time when the state government is under fire from the Punjab and Haryana high court for creating a separate recruitment agency, the Haryana State Teachers Selection Board while keeping the HPSC, a constitutional body without much work.
The high court had recently asked the Haryana government to explain that if the teachers selection board was constituted because HPSC was overburdened, then what was the need of reducing the strength of the HPSC members from 12 to six.