But One other Maha Govt Recruitment Drive Runs Into Controversy

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Mumbai: After an anxious few weeks spent ready and coordinating with the Maharashtra well being division, Nanded resident Tanaji Telange lastly obtained his corridor tickets for exams to 2 Group ‘C’ posts within the division that he had utilized for. Nonetheless, the examination centre was at Paithan in Aurangabad district, nearly 300 kilometres away from his place.

At the same time as Telange was understanding the logistics to attend the exams, scheduled on Saturday, September 25, he was notified a few new examination centre. This was an additional 50 kilometres away.

The 26-year-old Telange, who’s showing for the junior clerk and operation theatre assistant positions, was issued three totally different corridor tickets as a substitute of two. All of them talked about totally different places and totally different examination timings. He was baffled.

One other candidate, Datta Patukar, was notified about an examination centre 1500 kilometres away, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. For an additional candidate, the expertise was much more surreal. He was issued a clean corridor ticket, with simply the pin code of Yutan village in China talked about on it.

These exams had been the primary to be held in 5 years by the well being division to fill over 6,250 vacant posts in Group C and D classes. Over 8 lakh aspirants from throughout the state have utilized for these posted, solely to come across chaos and errors.

That is the newest in a collection of exams performed by the Maharastra authorities to be mired in confusion, controversy and allegations of fraud and mismanagement.

The chaos, nevertheless, was termed as a “minor technical snag” by the Maharashtra well being minister Rajesh Tope.

When candidates pushed again and began a social media marketing campaign exposing the division’s obvious lack of seriousness to conduct the examination, Tope was pressured to abruptly cancel the examination late at night time on September 24.

Earlier, Tope had claimed that for a quick interval, the server was accessed someplace in Uttar Pradesh, inflicting an error within the examination centres on some corridor tickets. He, nevertheless, didn’t have any clarification for a way a pin code from China was printed on just a few corridor tickets. Later at night time, whereas asserting the cancellation of the examination, Tope blamed Nysa Communications, the personal agency contracted by the Maharashtra Data Know-how Company Restricted or ‘MahaIT’ to conduct these state-level aggressive exams.

MahaIT is the nodal company of the federal government of Maharashtra that handles recruitment to a number of state authorities posts. The well being division too is conducting its examination by way of MahaIT. Although the company was set as much as “bolster the environment friendly and efficient implementation of Data and Communication Know-how initiatives and to ascertain a sturdy e-Governance ecosystem framework”, it has been mired in lots of controversies since its inception.

Corridor tickets displaying examination centres in Noida, a village in China and one that’s solely clean. Picture: The Wire

The Wire tried contacting Puneet Kumar, the CEO of Nysa Communications a number of instances however acquired no response. The story will probably be up to date as and when Nysa Communications responds to The Wire’s queries.

In the course of the earlier Devendra Fadnavis-led authorities within the state, the division signed contracts with personal companies just like the US-based IT firm ‘UST World’ and an Indian firm ‘Arceus Infotech Non-public Restricted’ – each of which have been accused of misappropriation of funds and involvement in a “Vyapam-like rip-off” that was revealed by The Wire. The division is but to clear its title from the previous alleged misdoings.

Tope’s sudden resolution to cancel the examination late final night time may need briefly contained the chaos, however did not have in mind the nervousness, confusion and frustration that greater than 8 lakh candidates have been subjected to within the course of.

Prior to now yr, nearly all state exams have had related points. On February 28, when the well being division had performed one other set of exams, a number of aspirants had been accused of blatant dishonest by way of the usage of refined microphones and scanning machines. At a number of centres, the query papers had arrived late; at some locations, the seals had been tampered with. A number of FIRs had been registered throughout the state and several other candidates and centre administration officers had been arrested.

Equally, final month, throughout the Maharashtra Industrial Improvement Company (MIDC) exams for sophistication C and D posts, a number of college students’ organisations had identified the chequered previous of personal agency Aptech Restricted engaged to conduct the exams.

Aptech has already been blacklisted by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments however nonetheless was taken on board by the MahaIT to conduct exams in Maharashtra. The Allahabad excessive courtroom and the Delhi excessive courtroom too have made scathing observations in opposition to the agency, asking for correct authorized motion to be initiated in opposition to it.

Following allegations, the MIDC was pressured to cancel part of its exams and has written to MahaIT in search of an evidence. Officers at MIDC confirmed that MahaIT has in flip written to Aptech to clear its stand. No motion has been initiated in opposition to the agency thus far.

A number of candidates have levelled allegations of rampant examination fraud in Maharashtra. Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

Vigilant college students’ discussion board

College students’ organisations like ‘MPSC Samanvay Samiti’ and ‘Yuva Halla Bol’ have been on the forefront of exposing the system and amplifying the aspirants’ calls for. Nilesh Gaikwad, a BTech graduate from Buldhana district, additionally a member of MPSC Samanvay Samiti says the scholars are doing what the federal government ideally should do.

“Earlier it was UST World. Now it’s Aptech and Nysa. Corporations might be empanelled provided that they meet the a number of standards laid down within the contract. Clearly, the division has ignored the evident loopholes and have empanelled firms which are unfit to hold out giant scale exams,” he mentioned.

Delay in conducting these exams has meant elevated emptiness in several departments and unrest amongst college students. Not simply the MahaIT but additionally the Maharashtra Public Service Fee (MPSC) has did not conduct exams on time. The delay in conducting these exams was cited as a cause by a number of aspirants who ended their lives. In simply November and December of 2020 alone, a minimum of six separate incidents of aspirants dying by suicide have come to mild.

Telange, who already works as a bunch D employee and hopes to leap as much as group C put up ultimately, says the federal government’s failure to make sure a good examination course of has failed a complete era. “Aspirants, primarily from the agricultural area, anticipate years to crack these exams. Most of us are youngsters of landless farm labourers, who’ve toiled for years to make a good life. And when it’s time for us to face these aggressive exams, the state administration lets us down,” Telange shared.

In October final yr, The Wire has revealed an in depth investigative article of fraud within the state’s recruitment drive carried out by the earlier Devendra Fadnavis authorities, which by its complexity and extent, was similar to the Madhya Pradesh Skilled Examination Board rip-off, extra generally referred to as the Vyapam rip-off. The Wire‘s findings had been corroborated by the previous Ahmednagar collector Rahul Dwivedi and a non-public audit agency, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), engaged by the state in 2018 to audit the recruitment drive. The investigation pushed the state authorities to sideline the beforehand empanelled personal companies. The issue, nevertheless, has endured.

College students’ organisations have demanded that the state authorities get rid of personal gamers fully and that each one exams must be dealt with by the MPSC. Gaikwad feels, “Not less than, we’d be capable of demand accountability and there can be some transparency within the course of.”

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