The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has found itself in trouble with thousands of students protesting against the CGL (Combined Graduate Level) Tier II Examination held last month. Students have alleged that the papers for the examination had been leaked. They have also accused the SSC of deep rooted “corruption”.
Though the government has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the issue earlier this week, the students assembled outside the SSC office in Delhi have been demanding that a fair investigation be conducted into all the examinations that the SSC held in the last one year. They have also demanded that the Supreme Court monitor the probe and that the CGL examination held this year should be cancelled.
Amid loud sloganeering and heavy police deployment outside the SSC office in the CGO Complex in the national capital, The Sunday Guardian spoke to Ashim Khurana, chairman of the SSC, on the issues that the protesting students have been raising. Excerpts:
Q: Students protesting right outside your office allege that there has been a paper leak of the CGL Tier II examination held last month. What does the Commission have to say on this?
A: Let me tell you clearly that there has been no paper leak. The students that you see protesting outside are funded by certain coaching centres with vested interests. What had happened was that on the first day, whatever chaos was created was a planted thing where a few students at a centre in Delhi found answers written in chits after the examinations were over and they cried that the paper was leaked. I have also submitted all the evidence to the crime branch of the Delhi Police.
Q: Now that a CBI probe has been ordered against the examination, what position will the Commission take in this matter?
A: The Commission will fully cooperate with the investigating agency. We will supply them with all the information they need. The Commission has nothing to fear about.
Q: The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is also a body that conducts examinations for Central government employees, but it has always remained clean of any such allegations, unlike the SSC. You have been in the UPSC too. What do you think is the difference between these two institutions?
A: The UPSC conducts examinations for not more than 50 lakh students every year, whereas the SSC conducts examinations for over two crore candidates every year. Moreover, the clientele for the UPSC and SSC is very different. The UPSC deals with a very educated and niche group of students, while the SSC deals with all kinds of students appearing for several classes of jobs in the Central government. Also, we have just a little over 350 staff, while the UPSC has over 1,000 staff working; therefore, it is bound to be different.
Q: Allegations have also been levelled against the Commission of not being able to declare results on time. How do you respond to that?
A: That is not true. In the last 15 months, we have been able to declare 32 results for different examinations held by the Commission. We have also tried to adhere to the dates given and in some cases, we have been able to declare the results even before the announced dates; so there is no question of holding back results.