The malpractices in the recruitment process by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) for 362 gazetted probationers’ posts — Assistant Commissioners, Tahsildars and Deputy Superintendents of Police — were apparently not restricted to the personality test or interview round alone. It turns out that the evaluation process of answer scripts of the written examination conducted in 2012 was also flawed.
After the State Cabinet decided to not only annul the interviews but also order the re-evaluation of the answer scripts, a government official said that the procedure laid down for evaluation had been given a go-by.
“The choice of evaluators was random. Economics lecturers had valued Rural Development papers and Sociology teachers had corrected Anthropology papers. In some cases, Kannada lecturers had valued English papers,” said the official, justifying the Cabinet decision to order re-evaluation.
Now, with the re-evaluation being done strictly by subject experts, the line-up of the candidates qualifying for the interview rounds is expected to change radically.
Meanwhile, the re-evaluation of the answer scripts has sparked fresh hopes among the candidates who could not make it to the interview round. A candidate, who received her re-totalling marks after the interview round for which she was not selected, said: “Hopefully, the re-evaluation by subject experts will give many deserving candidates a chance to be selected for the interview.”
However, some candidates, who had been selected for the interview, are unhappy. “If the CID probe has found irregularities even in the evaluation of answer scripts, why not take action against the illegal beneficiaries? Carrying out a fresh evaluation of thousands of answer scripts will take months and further prolong the delayed exercise,” said an aspirant who did not wish to be named.
The State government had ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after complaints were made about alleged payment of bribe for selection of candidates to some of the sought-after posts.
The State government constituted a three-member expert committee, headed by a former Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) member P.C. Hota, and comprising Additional Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Principal Secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Sanjiv Kumar, to review the system of selection by KPSC.
The committee had, in its report, found fault with the practice of disclosing the marks of the written examination before the interview. “Such a procedure may tempt a candidate with high scores in the written examination to make attempts to approach members of the KPSC to give him high marks in the interview so that he is selected,” the report said.