Three months after the alleged paper leak of the Combined Graduate Level (Tier II) Examination, conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Centre has granted a one-year “extension of tenure” to its chairman, Ashim Khurana, and amended the SSC rules to increase the upper age limit for the post.
A Gujarat-cadre IAS officer who was appointed SSC chairman in December 2015, Khurana completed his term on May 12 this year, when he turned 62. Two days later, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a note stating that Khurana had been granted “extension of tenure” as SSC chairman “on re-employment basis for a period of one year beyond 12.05.2018 or until further orders”.
The note also cleared amendment in the SSC rules “to specify an upper age limit of 65 years for holding the post of Chairman, SSC.”
The alleged paper leak of the Combined Graduate Level (Tier II) Examination, held from February 17 to 22 this year, had triggered widespread protests, following which a CBI probe was ordered. The SSC decided not to declare the results till the agency completed its probe.
Nearly 30.26 lakh candidates had registered for the Combined Graduate Level examination, being conducted to fill up about 8,000 vacancies in 35 different ministries and departments.
While about 15.43 lakh candidates appeared for the Tier-I exam in August 2017, about 1.89 lakh candidates were shortlisted for the Tier-II exam. Of these, 1.41 lakh candidates appeared for the exam, conducted at 206 venues in 68 cities.
Alleging a paper leak, thousands staged protests and demanded a probe.
The ABVP, which supported the demand for a CBI probe, wrote a letter to Minister of State (Personnel) Jitender Singh stating that it had “received complaints from students alleging that there are certain private coaching centres which are involved in this nexus”. “We have received some documents, attached along with this letter, which clearly indicate that former a chairman of SSC is closely associated with a particular private coaching centre. This fact also creates a question mark on the sanctity of SSC,” it had said.