State’s health department exam in sick bay over scheduling issues
This time too, the state government has outsourced the conduct of the Maharashtra public health department exam to Nyasa Communication Private Limited which was blamed earlier as well for the fiasco wherein the government had to cancel the exam at the eleventh hour due to lack of preparation in filling up over 6,200 vacant posts in the state health department
PUNE: The state government has embarrassed itself once again, with several students complaining about multiple centres across different cities having been allocated for the same paper (subject) on the same day for the Maharashtra public health department exam scheduled on October 24 and 31.
This time too, the government has outsourced the conduct of the exam to Nyasa Communication Private Limited (NCPL) which was blamed earlier as well for the fiasco wherein the government had to cancel the exam at the eleventh hour due to lack of preparation in filling up over 6,200 vacant posts in the state health department.
Sandeep Godane, an aspirant, is facing the dilemma of having to appear for examinations for two different posts on the same day but in different districts. He had applied for group C posts of ‘telephone operator’ and ‘junior clerk’ with the state health department. While he has been allotted Kolhapur district for one examination, he has to give the other examination in Satara district, with both examinations scheduled on October 24.
“I had applied for two different posts as I was eligible for them and have been preparing for the examination. But I was shocked after receiving my admit card. For one of the posts, I have got the exam centre in Kolhapur while for the other, I have got Satara district. How can I appear for two separate examinations to be held on the same day in different districts! This is complete mismanagement on the part of the state government and the agency appointed for conducting these exams,” said Godane.
Godane is not alone for there are a total 8 lakh job aspirants who have applied for various posts with the public health department under groups C and D.
Kamlakar Shete, student and vice-president of Yuvak Kranti Dal organisation, Pune city, said, “There are hundreds of students who are facing various types of issues related to hall tickets, addresses, examination centres and others for the recruitment exams. This has already happened last month and students had to pay the price for it as exams were cancelled at the last moment. Rather, the state government should have cancelled the company’s contract and given it to another company instead to carry out the examination this time.”
Rohit Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator and grand-nephew of Sharad Pawar, hit out at Nyasa Communication saying that such agencies should stop playing with the future of aspirants. “The aspirants work hard while their parents, too, spend a lot of money on them. However, firms conducting the exams play with the future of these aspirants. This is not fair. It’s time exams are conducted through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC),” Rohit Pawar said in a series of tweets.
A Congress leader on condition of anonymity criticised the way the exam is being conducted amid several issues. “When the firm cancelled the exam at the last moment, the government should have replaced it with any other competitive agency. It seems the people in the establishment did not learn their lesson,” he said.
However, Nyasa Communication Private Limited (NCPL), refuted all such allegations saying that there are no issues with the exam centres.
Puneet Kumar, managing director of NCPL, said, “Our arrangements for the scheduled examination on October 24 and 31 are going on well and we are trying to ensure zero error in the exercise. We have started issuing hall tickets to students as per the policy set by the state health department. About complaints coming from aspirants that they have been given different centres for the posts they have applied for, it is all as per the post and district circle where that student has applied.” If a student based in Pune has applied for a post in Akola district, he or she will be given an examination centre located in Akola district, he explained. “There are some people unnecessarily creating confusion and the students are getting worried,” said Kumar.
Asked why the company had not learned its lesson from the previous experience, Mr Kumar said, “This time, we have taken extra care of all the arrangements and preparations. Accordingly, each and every examination centre has gone through an audit, not only by us but also by state health department officials. In each district, officials have checked the examination centre and its arrangements. We have then upgraded our call centre and increased its strength to 50. Our technical team is also working round the clock to make the entire online process of issuing hall tickets and other things errorless.”
Health department response
Meanwhile, Dr Archana Patil, director of the state health services department, said, “We have 52 cadres and eight different mandals under the department and if we conduct the examination for each cadre separately, this issue might get solved. But it is not possible and all the instructions related to this specific examination were given on the website clearly since the beginning. Applicants have applied for several posts in different districts and so, they have been given centres in that specific district. Still, we are trying to allocate the same examination centre for the posts applicants have applied for within the same division or district.”