Callous! That is the one-word description of the most prestigious recruitment body of the state; the Public Service Commission. Even though the commission has always been in news for wrong reasons, its recent faux paus has beaten all past records. Serious allegations of favoritism and nepotism have all along marred the reputation of this prestigious institution.
The enormous delay in conduct of various competitive civil services examinations and then the subsequent delay in announcing the results is a norm of sorts for the commission. As a result, many eligible candidates are denied respectable employment for no fault of theirs. Not only that, even the postings in the commission – especially of the retired bureaucrats -by the political dispensations have raised eyebrows many a times.
The recent incidence of misplacing the answer sheets of a screening test ‘during transportation’ has added to the infamy – and ignominy – of the commission. Newspaper reports tell us that the commission had conducted the screening test for the post of computer lecturers on January 9, 2011; two years after the aspirants had submitted their application forms. The Commission issued a notification on its website on February 1, that “due to reasons beyond the control of the commission, (viz. loss of Air consignment containing used OMR response sheets), the screening test of Lecturer 10+2 Computer Science held on 09.01.2011 is hereby cancelled”.
Two things stand out here. One, it took the Commission two long years to conduct the screening test. Conducting examination of 1000 odd candidates is not such a mountainous task that it can not be held within a month’s time. How would the commission defend the loss of employment of two years to the candidates who would have made it, had the commission conducted the examination on time. Why cannot the commission members be held criminally responsible for causing mental agony and frustration to the unemployed youth by their crass negligence.
Two and more important, is the case of missing answer sheets. Hundreds of passengers travel to and from the Srinagar airport to various destinations and we have never come across any instance where the consignment or baggage of a passenger gets misplaced beyond retrieval. Given the way, the airlines function, it is hard to believe that the consignment could have been lost at the airport.
It, for obvious reasons, seems that there is more to the incident than what meets the eye. While the inefficiency of the Commission is starkly obvious, the connivance of the Commission officials in deliberately misplacing the answer sheets can not be ruled out.
It is hoped that is not the case but the Commission high ups should internally investigate the matter and put the facts before the public in more transparent manner. Also, rather than acting as autocratic and announcing the annulment of the said examination, the commission should have apologized to the candidates in its notification. But then, that is to ask for too much for the commission that plays with people’s careers with impunity.