The government is considering a revamp of the examinations conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) including a plan to conduct the recruitment examination online to deal with an increasing number of complaints of irregularities in recent months.
The revamp would affect nearly 16 million candidates who take the SSC examinations to join nearly 85,000 junior jobs in the central government, ranging from stenographers to inspectors of customs.
The move follows the recommendations of a panel of experts that also called for making it mandatory for applicants to register online and end the practice of forcing candidates to repeatedly register for each exam.
The commission has been dogged by controversies over the last year or so, particularly in view of repeated numerous allegations of irregularities in its examinations that have been mentioned in the Parliament too.
Just last month, Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel alleged in the Lok Sabha that “many candidates who were absent in Tier-II re-examination of combined graduate level exam 2013” had been declared successful by the Staff Selection Commission.
She also asked the government to respond to charges that a large number of candidates from the same city appeared to have cleared the examination. The MP also demanded that the list of those candidates who were debarred be made public. She also asked that the names of absent candidates of CGL-13 be also made public.
Former SSC chairman NK Raghupathy welcomed the revamp initiative but demanded that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) should be transparent about the panel’s exercise.
The DoPT has kept the report under wraps but only placed the recommendations made at a SSC workshop that debated the report.
Raghupathy — who headed the SSC till his retirement in 2013 — had taken several initiatives to improve transparency within the panel.
For instance, he used social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to advise candidates long before it was fashionable to do so.
He continues to do so after his retirement too.
Raghupathy — who had advocated a single screening test for candidates — said access to the expert group report would help understand why it was not in favour of a single test.
The panel had called for more debate before a view was taken.