The Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) has been embroiled in a controversy, in which many candidates who had given Group 4 exams conducted by the Commission alleged malpractices in the exams. Their allegations stem from the fact that as many as 35 candidates in the top 100 rankers in the list are from two specific locations in Tamil Nadu - Rameswaram and Keelakarai.
The TNPSC is a constitutional body which recruits personnel for government service posts in the state through examinations. Government jobs across state departments, except those that fall under the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams are predominantly filled by the TNPSC.
The TNPSC recruits personnel for senior government roles including that of Deputy Superintendent of Police (category I), Assistant Commissioner, District Educational Officers etc. Personal clerks, typists and various other office assistant posts are also filled by the TNPSC.
These exams are conducted across seven group categories based on the job profiles and pay grades. TNPSCâ€™s examination process differs based on the level of posts for which the recruitment is done. For senior level government jobs, the candidates are required to write a preliminary examination, main examination and appear for an oral test. For middle level posts, candidates are made to give one written examination and an oral test.
TNPSC recruits personnel for lower level posts just by a written test. Selected candidates as per the rank list for lower level postings, will be called for certificate verification and a counselling process.
Group 4 exams
TNPSC Group 4 exams were recently held on September 1, 2019 across Tamil Nadu to recruit eligible candidates for the posts of Junior Assistants, Junior Accountants, Junior Stenographers, Typists and Assistant cum Typist in various departments.
The exam was conducted in over 5,500 centres in Tamil Nadu and more than 16 lakh candidates wrote the exam. TNPSC published the result of the Group 4 exams in November 2019 and the rank list of candidates who had cleared the exam was published in December 2019.
Rank list shocker
After the rank list was published, many aspirants were shocked to see that around 35 candidates from two locations in Ramanathapuram district had fared among the top 100 rankers in the state.
These candidates, who had broken into the top 100 ranks of TNPSC after writing from Rameswaram and Keelakarai, belonged to different districts across Tamil Nadu and had chosen to give the exam from Ramanathapuram district.
Suspecting malpractice in these centres, aspirants have demanded a probe into the examination conducted in Rameswaram and Keelakarai.
TNPSC initiates probe
Responding to the allegations, TNPSC has stated that stringent action will be taken on anyone who is found guilty of wrongdoing and has requested aspirants to place their faith in the Commission.
In a press release issued a few days ago, the Commission stated that in Ramanathapuram district, Group 4 exams were held in 128 centres and was attended by almost 33,000 aspirants. Out of the 33,000 candidates who wrote TNPSC exam in Ramanathapuram district, 497 have been selected for the certificate verification process.
As per data from the TNPSC, 2,840 candidates gave the exam in eight centres in Rameswaram and Keelakarai alone, of which 57 candidates were selected for certificate verification. 40 candidates belonged to districts other than Ramanathapuram.
Out of the 57 candidates, 40 have found their names among the top 1000 ranks and 35 have their names among the top 100 ranks in TNPSC rank list.
â€śBased on the allegations, TNPSC is scrutinising not just the answer sheets and documents of these candidates but also all their other documents related to the exam,â€ť read the press release.
TNPSC also assured that a thorough, impartial probe will be conducted on the issue and the miscreants, if any, would be punished according to law.