| An examination candidate displays an admit card with printing errors. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Aug. 16: Security for tomorrow’s civil services examination was beefed up after candidates went on the rampage at the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) headquarters in the capital today in protest against errors in admit cards.
Thousands of policemen, along with Jharkhand armed police personnel, have been posted in 292 centres across the state following the ransacking of the JPSC office and the bandh called by a section of the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (Ajsu) against the examination.
The trouble at the JPSC office began around 11 in the morning when the candidates found discrepancies in the admit cards.
Several candidates were angry because they did not get the admit cards for the first state civil services examination. The candidates barged into the information centre of the JPSC and began ransacking it — destroying chairs and smashing glasses. The candidates destroyed several admit cards and uprooted the JPSC board. They also damaged the windscreen of two buses.
Alok Kumar, a candidate from Purnia, said: “About 90 per cent of the admit cards have printing errors. My optional subject has been wrongly printed. I had applied for economics but the admit card mentions history as my optional subject. My pleas to rectify the error has fallen on deaf ears.”
Ashish Kumar from Dhanbad said: “My admit card has the photograph of a woman. Moreover, my name has also been printed wrongly. The officials said I should go to the information centre. But will I be allowed inside' I may face charges of forgery. These officials have made it a point to spoil our career.”
Home secretary J.B. Tubid, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the last-minute rush to the JPSC office was uncalled for.
“The JPSC did not issue the admit cards. The candidates were asked about a month ago to download the cards from the official JPSC website and get back in case of difficulties,” Tubid said.
Tubid added that 7,000 applications were rejected for various reasons. “The reasons for every rejection has been explained in each case at the website for the benefit of the candidates,” he added.
The home secretary added that till 24 hours ago, not a single complaint was received from any of the 1,48,000 candidates scheduled to appear for tomorrow’s exams.” The possibilities of clerical errors in admit cards cannot be ruled out. However, all exam superintendents and commission members have been given full powers to rectify the technical error,” Tubid added.
Reacting to the bandh called by a section of Ajsu, the home secretary said candidates from other states were eligible to appear for the exams for gazetted posts, irrespective of their domicile or residential status.
Ajsu activist Vimal Kachchap, however, said: “The government has been cheating the people. The teacher’s test was conducted in May. The government had promised that the results would be declared within 15 days. But the government has been maintaining a calculated silence over the results. We have called the bandh in protest against the government’s failure to come out with a definition of domicile. We will dissuade the candidates from taking the examination.”
The Jharkhand People’s Party (JPP) has decided to support the bandh. JPP president Surya Singh Besra told reporters in Jamshedpur that activists of Ajsu and the JPP would take out processions from various parts of the city which would culminate at the Sakchi square. “We will also peacefully demonstrate against the civil services examination and appeal to the candidates not to appear for the exam,” he said.
The Chhatra-Yuva Sangharsh Samiti resolved to oppose the bandh. The Samiti condemned violent incidents at the JPSC office. The Samiti has formed a 21-member task force to oppose the bandh.