‘Attempts being made to harm public institutions’: Kerala CM backs PSC over exam row

Pinarayi was addressing media at the Secretariat amidst mounting protests by Opposition parties over the SFI stabbing incident at University College.
‘Attempts being made to harm public institutions’: Kerala CM backs PSC over exam row
‘Attempts being made to harm public institutions’: Kerala CM backs PSC over exam row
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Backing the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) and the University College in Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday stated that attempts are being made by certain forces to harm the various public institutions in the state with the intention of attacking the Kerala government. 

The CM was addressing the media at the Kerala Secretariat in the state capital, amidst mounting protests by various opposition parties regarding the stabbing incident by members of the Students Federation of India (SFI) at the University College on July 12.

Fingers were pointed at the PSC regarding allegations of discrepancies in the way they conducted their examinations, after bundles of Kerala University answer sheets were seized from the house of the prime accused in the University College stabbing case. The names of three of the accused featured in the rank list of PSC examinations and this had led to severe criticism against the government body and accusations of irregularities in the PSC were raised by several opposition parties in the state.

However, referring to the PSC as one of the most trusted government bodies in the state, Pinarayi Vijayan stated that attempts are being made to destroy the trust of the people in a well-functioning body like the PSC. “Ever since the LDF government came to power in 2016, over 1,14,000 appointments and over 22,000 government posts were created by the PSC and in doing so, the body has acted as a relief to countless youngsters in the state,” said the CM.

Over the past one week, several opposition parties had taken protest marches to the Kerala Secretariat as well as to the office of the state PSC demanding that the allegations of discrepancies be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Responding to such demands, the Kerala CM said that an Administrative Vigilance Department was immediately created to check if there were any shortcomings in the conduct of examinations.

“At this point, it has become obvious that a false campaign has been unleashed to destroy the reputation of the PSC, which is a role model to the public administration departments in other states,” said the Kerala CM.

Stating that the PSC in Kerala was different than that of other states, Pinarayi said that the public examinations in the state are directly conducted by PSC themselves, whereas in other states, the examinations are outsourced to different private organisations. “This is one of the reasons why people have accepted the PSC in the state and trust in the organisation. This is also the reason why the different successive governments in the state provided the PSC with more responsibilities.”

‘Will not protect those who incite violence’

Ever since the violence in University College on July 12, the Kerala CM has time and again emphasised that neither the government nor the Kerala University will in any way encourage students to engage in any form of violence on college campuses. 

By stating that the University College is one of the most prestigious institutions in the state, Pinarayi said it is a regret that certain unfortunate incidents like the recent one is being used to paint the entire college, which has produced several notable personalities in the state, in poor light. “There is no system in Kerala which protects or accepts violence in educational spaces. If a problem arises in an institution, then measures have to be taken to solve the problem rather than attacking the entire institution,” he added.

Violent protests had erupted in Thiruvananthapuram by various student political outfits ever since the stabbing incident in the college, demanding strict action against the SFI unit in University College, which has time and again been accused of functioning in an authoritarian manner in the college. Situated in the heart of the city, University College has been in the news for issues relating to violence and campus politics.

“State government will take all necessary measures to ensure that the University College, which has produced some of the finest personalities in the state is brought back to its old glory,” the CM added.

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