PSC rank holders on the warpath again

PSC rank holders associations staging a protest in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday demanding extension of various rank lists.  

With the validity of 493 rank lists of the Public Service Commission (PSC) set to expire on August 4, aspirants for various posts are yet again on the warpath demanding that the State government extend the validity further, at least till the publication of the next rank list.

Prominent among the various rank holders’ associations leading the protests are the All Kerala Teachers’ Rank Holders Association, the Women Civil Police Officer Rank Holders’ Association, the Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers’ Union and the LGS Rank Holders’ Association, who are all now sitting on protest in front of the Secretariat.

Ahead of the assembly elections earlier this year, the State Cabinet had on February 3 decided to extend the validity of rank lists by six months, till August 4. As the date of expiry of the list neared, demands were raised from various quarters for further extension, as the next rank list, after the completion of the newly introduced two phase examinations is expected to come into force only after a few months.

However, earlier this week, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the assembly that the government saw no reason to extend the validity of PSC rank lists beyond August 4.

Though aspirants on some of the rank lists like those of last grade services and LD clerk got the benefit of the six month extension, some others, especially on the Women CPO rank list, which expires in August, did not get the benefit of the same.

“Unlike the other rank lists, which were in existence since 2018, our police rank lists have a validity of only one year. Only less than 600 persons out of the 2000 people in the rank list have got advice memo till now. In the past seven months, no new vacancies were reported for recruitment from the WCPO rank list. The government has not kept its promise to increase the strength of the women’s battalion. We did not get a single extension either. Our only wish is for the list to be extended by at least six months,” Parvathy, a rank holder who is protesting in front of the Secretariat, told The Hindu.

Huge blow

For the school teachers, the lack of recruitments in the pandemic year has come as a huge blow. According to the association office-bearers, a large percentage of the new vacancies are set aside for inter-district transfers.

“Due to the pandemic, the creation of new divisions as per the increased student strength has not happened. This is despite the fact there has been a huge increase in student strength in government schools over the past few years. For us to get the benefit of these, our rank lists have to be extended at least by one academic year. Each subject has got a separate list, and only some of them got the benefit of the previous extension. Another of our demands is that advance recruitment from the existing list should be made to the posts which will fall vacant next year due to retirements,” says Aneesh, convenor of the Teachers’ Rank Holders Association.

The aspirants in the Last Grade Rank list, which is one of the jumbo lists, began their protest on Monday. According to the protesters, only up to 6,000 recruitments have been made from the list till now, unlike the 11,000 recruitments from the previous list.

Pandemic delays list

The PSC and the government have been maintaining that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the holding of examinations in a time-bound manner, which has delayed the publication of a new rank list too.

The government had also asked department heads to report vacancies held up by seniority disputes, court cases and absence of staff eligible for promotion.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:21:51 PM |

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