UPSC model may be emulated, says Chief Minister; investigation report to be submitted in three weeks

The Government will order an inquiry by a credible agency into charges of corruption in selection of candidates for gazetted officers’ posts by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) within two days and seek a report within three weeks.

In reply to a call attention notice by Leader of the Opposition H.D. Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday told the Legislative Assembly that the government would withhold the list till the probe is completed.

“The KPSC has not sent a list of selected candidates yet,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said. Examination was conducted for 361 Class ‘A’ and Class ‘B’ officers’ post by the KPSC.

Earlier, Mr. Kumaraswamy cited reports that appeared in The Hindu on June 10 and June 6 which described the modus operandi of touts who would strike deals between KPSC members and aspiring candidates.

UPSC pattern in focus

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the government would study the examination pattern of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to see if it could be adopted by the KPSC to ensure transparency.

Manipulating interview

The Chief Minister noted that KPSC members could manipulate the interviews as 200 marks had been allotted for it. UPSC, on the other hand, does no reveal total marks secured by a candidate till the completion of the interview to avoid manipulation at the interview level, he said.

The Chief Minister cited the case of Mythri, an MD in Paediatrics, who had topped in the ST category in the KAS exams, being denied the Assistant Commissioner’s post by being given poor marks in the interview by the KPSC members.

Ms. Mythri had given him a complaint mentioning the cellphone number of persons who had sought a bribe of Rs. 70 lakh, he added.

Credibility at stake

Earlier, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the credibility of the KPSC had come under a cloud following the allegations that members demanded huge sums as bribes from candidates for selection and that they manipulated the interviews to choose those who agreed to pay bribes.

The former Chief Minister and chief of Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) B.S. Yeddyurappa demanded reduction of interview marks from 200 to 20 to ensure justice to all students and to eliminate corruption.

“How can you expect a transparent and corruption-free administration from candidates joining the government service by paying lakhs of rupees as bribes,” the KJP chief said.