Commission has been following reservation norms in selecting administrative staff for Devaswom boards

The decision to constitute an exclusive board to recruit administrative staff to the Devaswom boards will allegedly undermine a system that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has been running meticulously for years without giving room for complaints.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday that the commission had been recruiting members of the Hindu community as officers and employees in the administrative service of the boards strictly in conformity with the reservation norms. A foolproof mechanism had been evolved for the recruitment. The selection to clerical and other grades was made from district-level rank lists drawn up by the commission for filling up the vacancies in various government departments. On reporting the vacancies, the commission identified the Hindu candidates from the rank lists in each district. Their applications and credentials were subjected to a thorough scrutiny and they were shortlisted for interview. The interview board comprised commission members of the Hindu community. For the officer cadre vacancies, if the boards did not have sufficient candidates to be promoted to the posts, these were reported to the PSC, and selection was made on the same pattern.

The special rules of the Kerala Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Services were amended for filling up the vacancies in the officer cadre in the Devaswom boards from other departments in the State. Instances of filling up the posts of assistant and deputy Devaswom commissioners by selecting officers from the Revenue and other departments are aplenty. Strict compliance with reservation quota for various backward sections of the Hindu community and conduct of the qualifying examination are cited as one of the major advantages of the recruitment process followed by the commission. Since the commission could not deviate from the quota norms for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, it ensured the due for such sections in the Devaswom administrative service.

Whether the transparent selection system will be followed by the proposed board in the case of conduct of the qualifying examination and observance of the reservation norms remains to be seen, the sources said.

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