By Atin Srivastava:
Staff Selection Commission (SSC) under DOPT conducts various examination for filling Group B and Group C level posts under GOI. Common Graduate Level Examination is one such exam for graduates. There are different vacancies like Central Secretariat Services Assistant, Income Tax Inspector, Excise Inspector etc. The exam comprises of basically three levels: Tier 1 , Tier 2 and Interviews. This time, in the notification, SSC had also introduced Tier 3 which was to be descriptive with the aim to weed out non-deserving candidates. Fair enough.
So, notification for this SSC CGLE for the year 2013 was out in Jan-13. Due to a large number of candidates who applied for this, around 13 lakhs, the tier 1 was initially scheduled for two days in April : 14.04.13 and 21.04.13 and tier 2 was scheduled in July. Aspirants could apply online and via post. Those who applied online had an option to download the admit card after a few days, whereas those applying offline were completely dependent on receiving admit cards through post. Many students who had applied through post did not know the exact date of their exam.
Just one day before 14th april, SSC puts up a notice on its website that due to Ambedkar jayanti on 14th april, the exam is now scheduled on 28th April. The main reason was probably the inefficiency in delivering admit cards in time and certainly not realisation of Ambedkar Jayanti just a day before the exam. Many did not see the notice which appeared in the evening and went to the exam centres which were mostly far away from the choice they had filled in the form, just to realise that gates were locked with a notice of postponement of the exam. SSC did not make proper arrangements for allotting centres to students. Many of my friends who had filled New Delhi as the centre were sent to Roorkee, Bharatpur etc. Well, that is understandable to some extent due to infrastructure constraint but the organisation can certainlyÂ be more meticulous in allotment.
On 21st april, Tier1 took place as usual, there were a few incidents of cheating in the morning and evening shift. Police caught a few too.
On 28th April, SBI PO was also scheduled and hence SSC again postponed its exam to 19th may. So, the exam which was to be on 14th april took place on 19th may after a delay of more than one month, due to no fault of students.
Finally, the exam took place on 19th may. Many reported a drastic change in the level of the question paper on 19th May as compared to that of paper on 21st April.
Now, Tier 2 was scheduled in July last week according to the notification published initially. In the last week of June, the results of tier1 were out and 1.31 lakh were selected for tier 2. Due to delay in tier 1, tier 2 was now rescheduled to 28th and 29th September. Cutoffs are rising in every government exam these days, competition is getting tougher. For SSC CGLE13; it was 96 for general candidates, 12 more than the cutoff last time (84 in CGL 2012).
Then rose a student (Mr. X) who had failed for three times in the same exam, saying that he has scored 87.5 and cutoff has risen so much only due to cheating in exams. And he files a case in Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in New Delhi. His case is accepted and he manages to get a stay on tier 2 exam of SSC.
Students were now unsure whether to prepare or not for the next level. Two days before the tier 2 exam, SSC puts up a notice on the website that they have managed to get the stay vacated and exams will be held as proposed. Again the story repeats itself and students are thrown to far off areas, but with lesser number of students now. Nevermind.
And then began the “tareekh pe tareekh” game in CAT. Mr. X managed to get more like-minded students with himself and then just before every date of the court, they bring one more case of similar pattern and court merges the case and gives a date after sometime. This has been their strategy to delay the case result. All of a sudden SSC puts a notice that tier 3 exam won’t be conducted this year and after tier 2 results, interviews will be scheduled.(Why?)
Facebook group students, on advice of some elderly persons, decided to file a 3rd party case to fasten the process. Genuine candidates were paying for someone else’s fault. We decided upon an account of a selected person from the group to arrange funds for the case. We all contributed and managed to arrange around 2 lakh rupees from students to pay for the fees of lawyer and other charges but the SSC Lawyer has never been helpful or has not shown pro-activeness in getting the stay vacated and winning the case. Students kept on waiting anxiously for the hearing date just to realise that they are now given NDOH (Next Date of Hearing).
21 September – 25 October —28 November —10 December – 18th December – 3 January —13th January— 21st January— 22nd January – Now 25th Feb .
Meanwhile, there has been a huge uproar among students regarding this delay. Many of them have left their jobs to prepare, many are waiting for the result to support their family now. Students have moved to different cities from nearby villages to study and prepare for this exam. Staying away from family in need, just to get a govt job that will ease off the financial and mental tension in their house. The mental pain that we are facing is beyond words.
Thanks to a facebook group, we got a platform to share ideas and protests have been organised in various cities: New Delhi, Jaipur, Allahbad, Kolkata etc.There was some media coverage too. Students from Delhi also met with Mr. Narayan Samy and Mrs.Sushma Swaraj to explain the situation but to no use.
On 8th January, there was a huge protest in New Delhi, students came from different parts of India to join it and they protested in front of SSC headquarter in CGO complex demanding fast action on part of SSC and its lawyer. After looking at the protest outside, the SSC chief called 5 students to come in and meet him. He said that they are trying their level best to vacate the stay and we will win the case for sure. “I am extremely concerned about the future of candidates” he said, and we were simply fooled by SSC.
On 13th Jan, we got 21st Jan as the next date. On 21st Jan, CAT Judges rebuked opponents lawyer for delaying the case and asked all parties to appear on 22nd for final hearing. We all were delighted that now we are going to win. On 22nd, SSC lawyer shows to the court that it has got an investigation report from Delhi Police which admits cheating but no evidences of it being on a large scale. SSC told the court that it has now sent recommendations to DOPT regarding restructuring the examination, it also includes recommendation of scraping SSC-CGLE2013 all together.Â This sudden move of SSC has came as a shock to us. We students are now left with no other option but to save this exam at any cost by means of protest. Even if 2000 students cheated, why should the rest 1.29 lakh students suffer?
We are now sending mails to The President, Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, Mr.Narendra Modi and who not. Tagging every news channel on Twitter asking for help. Registering grievances on government portals. Many have agreed to write letters with their blood to President and PM. Many students are so depressed that they are thinking of committing suicide! This is a big exam for us and we won’t let a few students spoil our future. Next date of hearing is 25th feb, we are trying to pressurize SSC and DOPT that conduct tier 3, even tier 4 if needed. But do not cancel the examination, don’t let one year of an unemployed youth go to waste. SSC has also released notification for 2014. What is the guarantee that no cheating will happen this year? How can they possibly release it when the future of last year candidates has not yet been decided. Cheating in any exam cannot occur without negligence of the organisation or without the internal sources of the organisation involved in it. We students feel that the reason that SSC is now going to cancel this exam is because they want to save its officials. If the case proceeds, their will be more enquiry by CBI and DP which might hurt the image of SSC. So, they are trying the easy way out by cancelling the exam without taking into account what all we have gone through.
SSC has now put a notice on its website that the decision for the future of SSC CGLE 2013 rests with Central Govt. now.Â We students will protest against this recommendation of SSC on 28th Jan in front of its headquarter in New Delhi.
We need public attention, we are around 5.2k students in the FB group, few are obviously supporters of opposition who are trying to know the strategy. We dont have any real filter for this thing. Anyways, we urge you to support us by at least one or two Facebook posts or tweets. We will share it to the maximum. We need your support to spread this message. Please help! Please use tag #saveSSCcgle2013. Spread the word.
Please also sign this petition we are sending to concerned minister Mr. V Narayanasamy.