Kerala government bid to usurp PSC’s powers alleged

Repeated Cabinet entreaties for extending the tenure of rank lists are gradually assuming the proportion of a legal row between the State government and the Public Service Commission (PSC).

During the past two years, the State government had requested validity extension of lists on various grounds, and the latest plea for a four-and-a-half- year extension or till a new list is compiled has drawn flak as it is deemed a bid to usurp the PSC’s powers.

After seeking the latest extension, the Chief Minister had said that the Law Department had been told to frame rules for giving legal sanctity to the recommendation.

The commission does not reserve the powers to extend the validity of one or two select lists and can only issue a blanket order. At any given time, there are about 500 live lists, and on deciding to extend one or two lists that are set to expire, all others will also be automatically extended.

While the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prepares a precise list on the basis of the vacancies reported, the State commission prepares an enormous list for each post that is often five to seven times more than the actual requirement. This system is followed mainly to ensure that caste and community quotas are maintained. Quite often, the validity of the UPSC lists expires within a month of its publication.

By liberally extending the lists, a large number of candidates who do not have a remote chance of employment are kept waiting. It also means that fresh batches which pass out every year are deprived of a chance to seek appointment. The case of a batch of students who passed the Teachers Training Course in 1998 is cited as an example.

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