Merit Track barred from taking further SSB examinations
Govt to take final call after Committee report
JAMMU, July 15: Administration has widened the net in paper leakage scam taking into its ambit a couple of more written examinations conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) through Bangalore based agency Merit Track in March this year amid reports that some more question papers might have been leaked which went undetected.
Official sources told the Excelsior that Sub Inspectors written test examination, whose leakage has been confirmed, was held in March while two more papers—Financial Accounts Assistants (FAAs) and JE Civil were also conducted in the same month.
“Something has definitely gone wrong in the examinations held in March and, therefore, the administration has taken up inquiry into FAA and JE Civil examinations also and a report is expected to be submitted to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha soon,” sources said.
Merit list of FAAs for 972 posts has been declared while that of JE Civil for 103 posts is yet to be announced.
In the meantime, pending inquiries into Sub Inspectors written paper scam and more such examinations for various posts, the administration has barred Merit Track from conducting further exams, official sources told the Excelsior.
A decision is yet to be taken whether the SSB will conduct examinations on its own or will hire another agency, they said, but added that no examinations will be conducted through Merit Track till inquiries into the paper scam including the one ordered through Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and another going on by top officials of the administration, are completed.
“Role of the paper conducting agency is definitely under scanner though it hasn’t been indicted,” sources said, adding that the SSB had hired the agency since 2013 for conduct of written examinations.
They confirmed that the administration has taken over inquiry into two more examinations the written marks of one of which were declared by the SSB recently after which complaints of paper leakage like the Sub Inspectors written examination which has been cancelled by the Government and CBI inquiry recommended into it, surfaced.
“The inquiry is on and nothing can be said at this stage as to whether the paper had been leaked or not,” sources said, adding the report will be ready in next few days.
The report, they said, will be submitted to the Government which will take a final decision on whether to cancel the examination or not.
Asked whether some more examinations in which results have since been declared and candidates selected, were under scanner, they said it wasn’t possible especially in the cases where recruitments have been finalized and candidates have joined the services. Moreover, they added, there were no such complaints earlier.
As per the sources, if the administration recommends cancellation of more exams in view of irregularities, the case can go to CBI as it will be investigating Sub Inspectors written examination leakage.
The CBI will be registering the FIR in Sub Inspectors written paper leakage scam shortly as it has already obtained permission from the CBI headquarters as well as the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). After registration of FIR, those connected with the exam will be called for questioning.
It may be mentioned here that following uproar about unfair selection list in written examination of Sub Inspectors as two to three members of a family were selected, mainly in Akhnoor belt, the Lieutenant Governor had ordered probe by a high-level committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Home RK Goyal.
As the Committee confirmed irregularities in its report submitted to the Lieutenant Governor, the latter cancelled the examination and ordered CBI probe into the matter.
It may be mentioned here that, as per sources, the question paper for Sub Inspectors written exam was reportedly leaked in Jalandhar and sold in a Library at Akhnoor. The paper was initially sold for Rs 15 lakh while the rates were subsequently brought down.