Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 26:
Even as the hue and cry over the faulty evaluation of matriculation and plus two answer scripts refuses to die down with the Odisha government receiving much flak for the goof up, yet another case of faulty evaluation has come to the fore.
This time it is the Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC), which is entrusted with the responsibility of selecting suitable candidates for appointments to nearly 85 cadre posts/services under the state government.
There are allegations of serious irregularities at every stage of the selection process of 152 candidates for appointment as supply inspectors with the department of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare.
Many cases have come to notice of the marks awarded having no relationship with the correctness or otherwise of the answers given by the candidates. Glaring irregularities in the evaluation process have been unearthed from copies of answer sheets obtained through an RTI application.
In case of objective type of questions, only one of the four options can be correct. Needless to say ticking on the options other than the correct one would fetch the candidate no marks.
But unbelievably, marks have been awarded for both correct and incorrect answers.
The expose of the evaluation mess has cast a shadow on the entire selection process.
While a case has been earlier registered with the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) on this examination, several candidates who have not been selected are now planning to move the courts.
A notification was published on July 23, 2012 for 156 posts of Supply Inspectors. After completion of different stages Prelims, Mains, Written, Interview and Career Marking, the Commission on May 29 published a list of 152 selected candidates.
Soon, allegations came in thick and fast about irregularities at every stage of the selection process.
First, it was decided to select 20 times more candidates than the number of posts available in the Mains written examinations. At the time of publication of results of the Prelims examination, the number of candidates selected for the Mains Written examination was 24 times more than the number of posts i.e. 3684.
Basing on complaints of faulty evaluation, the Commission raised the selection ratio for the Mains Written examination to 1:45 allowing a total of 7004 candidates for the Mains Written Examination. This raised eyebrows and predictably led to suspicion that the exercise was intended to accommodate some candidates who were out of the race.
Even at an examination centre in the capital city, no sitting arrangements for candidates were made on the basis of roll numbers, allowing candidates to sit wherever they liked. This too was suspected to be aimed at facilitating some candidates to benefit out of the chaotic situation.
Curiously, the names of eight candidates were added to the list of candidates who had qualified for the personal interview
While all these irregularities have cast aspersions on the very transparent nature of the selection process, the faulty evaluation of answer scripts has shocked may candidates.
Answer scripts for the Odia and English papers are riddled with serious flaws in evaluation. Surprisingly, wrong answers have also fetched marks. Questions on Translation, Essay and Application have been allegedly evaluated in a whimsical manner.
Armed with such revelations, some candidates are preparing to move the courts seeking its intervention for quashing the whole selection process.
Several candidates who took other examinations conducted by the Commission have also alleged of faulty evaluations.
There is a public demand for a high level probe into the allegations of faulty evaluation and irregularities in appointments and justice for the victims of faulty evaluation. Several candidates opined that if the All India Combined Graduate Level Test 2013 held recently could be cancelled for minor mistakes, the same rule should apply in this case too.
Chairman of the Commission Bijay Kumar Patnaik said he has also received similar complaints. He said some candidates have shown him copies of answer sheets with faulty evaluation. The validity and genuineness of the complaints are being examined, he said.
Patnaik said since the Commission does not examine answer sheets, arrangements are being made to seek the opinion of subject experts. He said there are always disputes over evaluation of subjective papers. But since there have also been errors in evaluation of objective papers, it is being examined how it could have happened. Steps can be only taken after replies from subject evaluators, he said.
The chairman said if it is found that mistakes have indeed been committed, efforts will be made to rectify them. But he ruled out allegations of any partiality or favouritism committed in the selection process.