Table tennis and tennis are the same, so says UP public service

  • Sharad Deep, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 10:05 IST
The powers that be at the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, perhaps, had seen this picture of Serena Williams. (Getty Images)

In a incident that highlights the apathy of authorities towards sports other than cricket, the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) called a tennis player for an interview for the post of a table tennis coach.

When the commission woke up to the difference between the two disciplines, it was two-and-a-half years too late for the candidate who had applied for the job in 2012.

Vijay Pathak, who appeared for the final interview for the post of deputy sports officer at Allahabad last Tuesday, was taken aback when an UPPSC official apologised to him and said he had been called by mistake.

“Sorry sir. We could not differentiate between tennis and table tennis. We have a post for table tennis coach. We invited you by mistake,” the UPPSC official told the tennis coach.

“It was a big shock as I was waiting for this post since 2012,” Pathak, an NIS, Patiala diploma holder, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday. “It was the last chance for me to get a government job,” said the 42-year-old.

Pathak received a letter from the authorities on July 22. He then deposited Rs 60 as interview fee at the UPPSC office and his papers were “thoroughly checked” by authorities before the final interview was fixed last Tuesday.

“Before the interview process started, I was asked about my discipline. When I said tennis, the authorities refused me permission to appear for the interview,” said Pathak, adding, “I met the UPPSC chairman Anil Yadav who admitted to the mistake.”

“The authorities told me I was free to file a case,” added Pathak.

In another case of apparent administrative oversight, taekwondo coach Rizwan Ahmed was not issued a call letter on the ground that he didn’t meet the basic norm of playing at the university level.

“I have represented India in the world cup, have won gold medals at the national championships and participated in four international meets,” said Rizwan. “I got 50% marks at NIS and have completed my B Ped (Bachelor in physical education) with first-class marks, but the UPPSC officials are adamant that since I have not competed at the university level, I cannot be considered.”

“I tried convincing the authorities that playing at the university level was the minimum qualification for applying for the post and that this criterion didn’t make sense. But they weren’t ready to listen.”

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