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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Explained: What are the new Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examination Rules 2021?

The rules will be applicable for appointment to direct quota vacancies in various services such as the Jharkhand Administrative Service, Jharkhand Police Service among others.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Ranchi | Updated: January 19, 2021 10:50:56 am
The Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC), which conducts Combined Civil Service Examination, has conducted only six exams in 20 years. (Representational Image)

Jharkhand has for the first time framed rules pertaining to Jharkhand Civil Services. This will supersede The Bihar Civil Services (Executive Branch) and The Bihar Junior Civil Services Recruitment Rules of 1951, and will be applicable for appointment to direct quota vacancies in various services such as the Jharkhand Administrative Service, Jharkhand Police Service among others.

Why was the Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examination Rules, 2021 needed?

The Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC), which conducts Combined Civil Service Examination, has conducted only six exams in 20 years. In 2010, an FIR was lodged against a former member for alleged irregularities in written exams and interviews. At least 204 petitions—related to confusion, corruption in the selection process and irregularities among others—were filed in the High Court with more than 30 per cent cases pending in the courts. In the last examination, the result of the Prelims examinations was declared thrice. In the first instance, around 5,000 candidates qualified for the Mains, but the result was cancelled because the reservation rule for OBC candidates was not taken into account. In the second revised result, 6,103 candidates qualified, but SC/ST students were ignored leading to cancellation of the results. The news rules aim to avoid any such confusion.

What do the new rules state?

To begin with, a calendar of vacancies will be published at the start of each year which wasn’t done until the last exam.

According to new rules, the cadre-controlling department shall calculate the number of vacancies each year on January 1 with respect to the service to be filled in that particular year by direct recruitment and shall provide requisition for appointment to the Commission after roster clearance through the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha.

Secondly, marks obtained in Main (Written Test) Language Paper which is only qualifying in nature will not be added to the aggregate marks for calculation of percentage of marks, or for preparation of merit list for Main (Interview Test), or for preparation of final merit list. This is a huge relief for candidates as earlier it was up to the whims and fancies of officers to decide whether to add those marks or not in preparation of merit list. The government has made it clear that those marks will be considered as qualifying.

While making service allocation, the reserved category candidates—who have not availed any relaxation—recommended against unreserved vacancies may be adjusted against unreserved vacancies by the Commission, and if he cannot, then he shall be adjusted in reserved category if they get a service of higher choice in the order of their preference.

The rules state that the candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks of 40 in ‘aggregate’ shall only be considered by the Commission while preparing the selection list for Main Examination and for preparing the merit list for the purpose of Main (Interview) Test. However, the minimum qualifying marks will be relaxed for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and Females to 32%; Extremely Backward Classes to 34%; Backward Classes to 36.5%; and Primitive Tribal Group to 30%. Confusion arose in the 6th JPSC exam where it was not clear whether the minimum qualifying marks were calculated subject wise or in aggregate.

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# For each vacancy, 15 candidates will be selected for Main (Examination). In 2016, for 326 posts, a total of 34,634 applicants were eligible for the Mains exam. The candidates to job ratio was more than 100.

Rules that experts say may create controversy

# The new rules say that the number of candidates to be admitted to the Main (Written) Examination will be approximately 15 times the total number of advertised vacancies. Further, irrespective of category, the ‘15-times’ number will be selected in the Prelims and in case of inadequate representation from reserved category then the commission may at their discretion keep the cut-off marks up to eight percent less than that it was for the ‘last selected candidate’, but it shall not be less than the minimum marks. So, technically there is no reservation in Prelims. For example: If there are 100 vacancies, the first 1,500 candidates will be selected for the Mains irrespective of which category they belong to. Later, if there are no adequate representation from reserved category/categories, then the Commission may reduce the cut-off marks—for those categories who did get enough representation—not more than 8% from the marks obtained by 1500th candidate—and that too it should be less than the minimum qualifying marks mentioned in the rules.

Pawan Jha, who has been teaching students preparing for JPSC since 2002, said: “This particular rule will affect many prospective students. Ideally the Commission should select 15 times the advertised vacancy in respective categories, rather than selecting 1500 candidates purely on merit. For example: if, there are 100 total vacancies, and 27 seats are reserved for OBCs, then 405(15 times 27) candidates from OBC community should be selected for Mains and likewise for other categories rather than selecting 1500 candidates for mains. There may be a possibility that some seats may remain vacant.”

# There is no provision in the news rules for the graduation final year/appearing applicants. The UPSC, however, has a provision.

# The request for withdrawal of candidature received from a candidate after he has submitted his application will be not entertained by the Commission. The number of attempts of candidates may also get affected. Also, candidates would demand return of money paid for the application forms.

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