An interview conducted by the Kerala Public Service Commission for recruiting 498 English teachers in Government Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary Schools has sparked off a row.

Commission sources told The Hindu here on Friday that the norms notified for the recruitment were violated in the course of the interview sessions. The commission had issued notification for recruiting 343 senior and 131 junior teachers in higher secondary schools and seven senior and 17 junior non-vocational teachers for the vocational higher secondary schools.

As per the notification, candidates who have passed the State Eligibility Test (SET) with M.A. and B.Ed. in English were described as the eligible for the posts. It was also specified that if the commission could not identify adequate number of candidates with B.Ed. in English and if they have the other two qualifications, those having B.Ed in other disciplines would also be considered for the posts.

After conducting the qualifying examination, the commission had fixed a cut-off mark and short-listed about 3,000 candidates for interview. Since the marks of the qualifying examination alone were considered for preparing the shortlist, those having B.Ed. in other disciplines also figured on the list for interview.

As per the rules, if there are sufficient number of candidates with qualifications prescribed by the commission, those having B.Ed. in other disciplines will automatically be dropped from the interview list. When the interview sessions began, the commission identified sufficient number of candidates with the prescribed qualification. Even then, a decision was reportedly made to call a candidate with B.Ed. in Botany for the interview in violation of norms, the sources said.

This would not only deny chance for an eligible candidate, but also set a wrong precedent in the selection process. Once called for interview, the candidate is likely to get a right to move the court for either freezing the list or securing recruitment advice from the commission. This decision is feared to disrupt the entire process. This would also pave the way for candidates who have applied for other posts too for seeking a legal recourse to their grievances, the sources said.

An earlier decision to call candidates who have committed mistakes in filling up their personal details during the written exam for the interview for recruiting KSRTC drivers had come in for criticism. The latest decision to subvert the rules in selecting teachers is likely to derail the selection process, the sources said.

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