The Jharkhand government has decided to include regional and tribal languages in the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) and Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations and to reduce the emphasis on Hindi and English.
Further, the question papers now will have a higher percentage of Jharkhand-specific questions. JPSC and SSC are the recruiting bodies for government jobs.
The move is being seen as an exercise to facilitate entry of local and tribal population in state government jobs by giving them a level playing field.
In JPSC, which recruits Class 1 and 2 level officers at the state level, there will now be a separate paper of general studies in the preliminary examinations of 200 marks focusing entirely on Jharkhand. The language paper in JPSC mains examination, which will include all the regional and tribal languages besides Hindi and English, will now be of 150 marks, as against 100 marks earlier and the social science paper in mains would have 40 per cent Jharkhand-related questions. Additionally, aspirants will get a copy of the OMR sheets in the prelims examination and their answer scripts or applications will not be cancelled merely on technical grounds.
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In SSC, which takes care of Class 3 and 4 recruitment, a new paper on languages and literature has been introduced. Under this, an aspirant can choose any of the following: Hindi, Urdu, English, Bengali, Odia, Santhali, Ho, Kharia, Kudukh (Oraon), Mundari (Munda), Khortha, Nagpuri, Panchpargania and Kurmali. Also, the minimum qualifying marks for Hindi and English have been reduced from 40 per cent to 30 per cent. The percentage of Jharkhand-specific questions has also been increased from 30 per cent to 40 per cent.
The whole exercise began in March amid allegations that the JPSC results, announced earlier this year, were vitiated allowing ‘outsiders’ into the state services.
Later, an all-party committee headed by Cabinet minister Saryu Rai was formed to look into the issue. In its report, the panel recommended amendments to the JPSC and SSC syllabus. The JPSE, in turn, requested for constitution of a committee to prepare the syllabus and the question bank in various tribal and regional languages.
On Tuesday, an official communication said that a 15-member committee, comprising professors, lecturers, subject experts for different languages, will gather material in each language and submit a report within 15 days to the government.
“The idea is to allow more local aspirants to take up government jobs by giving them a level playing field. Earlier, they had to compete with people from outside and within the state in Hindi and English, which is not their mother tongue,” said an official.