The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has removed seven contractual employees from its regional office in Bhopal after the Class X and Class XII exams were found to have been rigged at three centres — Ratlam, Umaria and Sehore — in the state.
On October 3, the regional office refused to renew the agreement of a senior executive officer, two executive officers, three executive assistants and one office assistant. The contracts of these seven employees, who had been working on ad hoc basis for at least a decade, expired on September 29.
Confirming the development, NIOS chairman C B Sharma said he had decided not to hire any employee on contractual basis in the Bhopal office in future, after the alleged irregularities in this year’s NIOS results were brought to his notice.
“This is my decision and I cannot clean the system without make changes. The Bhopal centre needs complete revamping and I have no hesitation in saying that. In future, we will not hire anyone on contractual basis,” he said. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, the seven employees alleged that this was an attempt to divert attention from the real culprits who had gone scot-free.
“They have the right to complain. Let them say what they have to, the CBI will inquire into the matter, I will do what I deem fit as the chairman of the organisation. It is our prerogative if we want to retain contractual staff,” said Sharma.
Asked if he would also act against the permanent staff posted at the Bhopal office at the time of the exam, Sharma said, “I can’t act against them (permanent employees) till the (CBI) inquiry is completed.”
Following a letter from the NIOS chairman to the HRD Ministry led by Prakash Javadekar last month, the ministry has asked the CBI to investigate the alleged irregularities in this year’s NIOS results. As first reported in The Indian Express on September 9, Sharma, on August 22, recommended an investigation by vigilance agencies after a preliminary inquiry found that over 1,000 candidates from Madhya Pradesh had passed the examination although they had not appeared for it.
Of the 693 candidates who were supposed to sit for the exam in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sagod, only 19 appeared. However, when the results were declared, everybody was shown as having passed. Similarly, 351 candidates meant to take the exam at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Sehore, and 175 candidates at a Navodaya Vidyalaya in Umaria, were absent, but passed the exam.