Hundreds of students who were going to be taking the SSC – CGL Tier II exam on February 21 have been protesting for over a week now. The SSC – CGL exams are conducted to recruit non-gazetted personnel for various ministries. The students have alleged that the paper was leaked.
The recruitment process of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has been mired in controversy over an alleged leak of the examination paper for the Combined Graduate Level Examination (SSC CGL Tier II Exam 2018).
The candidates have alleged that on the morning of the exam which was held on February 21, questions from the exam paper and the answers to those questions were leaked online. The exam which was thenceforth conducted was ‘delayed’ and candidates were said to have faced inconvenience because of ‘incomplete downloading of data’, the Staff Selection Commission had said. The SSC subsequently announced that it would conduct a re-test for the candidates who took the CGL Tier II exam on March 9, citing technical reasons which had hampered the examination process on the original date of February 21. However, the candidates have alleged ‘mass cheating’ in the exam and have demanded a CBI inquiry.
For the past one week, candidates have been camping outside the headquarters of the SSC’s office at the CGO complex in New Delhi demanding a CBI probe into the matter. The week-long protests have prompted politicians such as the BJP Delhi Chief Manoj Tiwary to address the issue and assure the protestors of the matter being taken up with the concerned minister.
The Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala has compared the entire episode to the ‘Vyapam’ scam while backing the demand for a CBI inquiry. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also maintained that the central government needs to investigate the matter. “Thousands of aspirants are demanding a CBI inquiry into the SSC exam scam. This issue is related to their future. The central government should immediately accept the aspirants’ demand and order a CBI inquiry,” Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Friday. The protestors have also been addressed by social activist Anna Hazare who has backed their demand for a CBI probe into the matter.
On Thursday, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took up the matter with Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions) requesting him to look into the issue. Tharoor had pointed out how the SSC is only willing to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for a review of the matter. This, according to Tharoor, would further fuel the protests since the SIT is likely to constitute members of the SSC and could make matters worse as the protestors would perceive it as a biased investigation.
Meanwhile, the candidates didn’t cease their protests on the day of Holi. “The BJP cried foul when Amit Shah was stuck in a lift in Patna, but when the future of lakhs of students is in jeopardy, the government doesn’t care enough to initiate a CBI inquiry into the matter,” quipped a student.
Amongst the candidates who have been protesting outside the SSC headquarters, many have claimed that they are in no mood to give the re-test on March 9. “What’s the point in giving the re-test when the seats have already been bought by those with the deep pockets,” asserts Ragini Sharma who gave the exam on February 21.
As of Sunday, the SSC has in a statement, assured the protestors that it will be recommending a CBI probe into the matter. The government, while accepting the recommendation of the SSC has ordered a CBI probe into the matter. Citing the same, Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor have called upon the candidates to call off their protests.
“We have accepted the demands of the protesting candidates and have given orders for CBI inquiry. The protests should now stop,” Home Affairs Minister, Rajnath Singh said. However, the candidates have maintained that the protest won’t be called off until they are sure that their demands are being met.