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Protect identity of SC/ST, OBC candidates: Panel

Govt is considering suggestions for protecting identity of SC, ST and OBCs.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 15:46 IST

With a debate on having quotas for the socially underprivileged raging across the country, the government is considering suggestions for protecting identity of SC, ST and OBC candidates appearing for public service commission exams, including UPSC.

The Planning Commission, in a paper sent to the PMO, has suggested doing away with the current practice of issuing distinct roll numbers to SC, ST and OBC candidates appearing for such exams as it exposes them to discrimination by interviewers.

These numbers would be replaced with a serial number common up to the interview level to guard against any discrimination.

A computerised identifiable roll number, given to candidates belonging to these weaker sections, is different from the ones given to general category candidates. Interviews for the SC, ST and OBC candidates are also held separately.

Suggesting changes in the interview system for the much sought after administrative service offices, the paper said, "... Having full particulars of father's name, caste, religion and place of birth etc. Could result in the interview board discriminating against these candidates while favouring some," therefore, the interview board should not have any particulars except the roll number.

Personal details of the candidates could be kept with respective Chairmen and the roll numbers would be decoded by them to exercise the reservation provision for the final results.

"The suggested system is already in use in Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has discussed it with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the paper has been sent to his office," a senior official of the Commission said.

The matter has also been discussed with Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, he said.