A show down between the State Cabinet and Public Service Commission (PSC) was averted on Friday with the Commission accepting the former’s recommendation for extension of rank lists.

The Cabinet had met specially to consider reply of the Commission to its recommendation which had been sought by 4 pm on Friday.

The Advocate General, Law Secretary and other officials were called in to the Cabinet meeting with the objective of considering an Ordinance to take away the powers of the Commission for extension of the rank lists and empower the government to do so.

However, as the reply from the Commission was delayed, the Cabinet meeting was adjourned to 6 pm. By the time it met again, PSC had communicated its decision to accept the recommendations. The Cabinet had recommended the extension of rank list expiring on December 31 to April 2012 twice before, but the PSC had declined to accept the recommendation.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet reiterated the recommendation with some modifications. It was proposed that rank lists need be extended only till a new live list becomes available or till April 30 whichever falls earlier. Rank lists which were live for four and half years need not be extended.

Expressing his happiness over the PSC accepting this recommendation, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the Cabinet had, however, decided to bring three issues to the notice of the PSC. The government had reported 41260 vacancies between April 1 and November 31 this year to the PSC.

However, the PSC had advised candidates for only 19109 posts so far. Appointments to the remaining 22000 posts should be expedited. If live rank lists did not exist for those posts, the PSC should take urgent steps to prepare the rank lists and advice candidates for the posts.

The Chief Minister noted that about 500 live ranks lists would now be expiring on April 30 following the extension. As the government was not interested in backdoor appointments, it would be reporting all vacancies to the PSC. The PSC should complete procedures and prepare rank lists to replace all the expiring lists. Mr. Chandy noted that the appointment of differently-abled people to government service had been entrusted to the PSC by the previous government.

Earlier, appointments to posts reserved for them were being made by a committee headed by the collector. There were 1154 reserved posts in government service and vacancies from 2005 remained to be filled. The government had so far reported 470 posts to the PSC. The PSC should expedite the matter and advice candidates after completing the procedures. He said that the government would also be taking strong steps to monitor reporting of vacancies.

The Chief Secretary had already issued circulars that all vacancies arising up to March next year should be reported. If any of the heads of the departments failed to do so, strong action would be taken against them. Posts reserved for the differently abled should be reported immediately. They deserved special consideration.

The Chief Minister, who came out the conference hall after briefing the reporters on the Cabinet decisions, was greeted by the Youth Congress workers with sweets.

They welcomed the decision to extend the rank lists and said the PSC acted like feudal lords towards the job-seekers. The PSC should be modernised and its procedures should be streamlined.