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Job tests in both Odia and English

- State government move draws cheers from all quarters

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 4: The state government has decided to allow candidates appearing for recruitment tests in government jobs to write answers in Odia as well.

“It has been decided that all recruitment examinations will be conducted by setting question papers in English and Odia,” said a government circular issued last week.

At present, recruitment tests are conducted in English by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC), Odisha Staff Selection Commission and Odisha Subordinate Staff Selection Commission.

OPSC recruits incumbents for Odisha Civil Service (OCS) and Odisha Judicial Service (OJS). This time, 60,000 aspiring candidates have applied for the OCS examination. Around 4,000 candidates had appeared for the OJS examination last year, said an OPSC official.

OPSC conducts recruitment tests for government doctors, engineers, college teachers and police officers.

A general administration department official said the matter was being considered by the government for some time. “The issue was referred to OPSC for its views. The government has considered all aspects and decided to conduct the recruitment tests both in English and Odia,” he said.

The candidates will have to choose the medium in which they will write the answers and mention their choice at the time of applying for a particular recruitment examination. No candidate will be allowed to write the answers in more than one language, said the official.

The general administration department has instructed various departments to amend recruitment rules, if necessary, to make provision for conducting examinations in both Odia and English.

Several student bodies had been demanding for allowing the candidates to appear the recruitment tests in Odia too.

“As more than 80 per cent of our educated youth come from an Odia-medium background, a larger section of job aspirants can perform better by expressing themselves in their mother tongue,” said state student Congress president Chinmay Sahu.

The student wing of the BJD welcomed the decision. “This will definitely benefit a large section of job aspirants,” said president of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal Byomokesh Ray.

The decision has also brought cheers from those fighting for preservation and promotion of the Odia language. “The move may generate interest among the young generations to improve their writing skills in their mother tongue,” said Odisha Sahitya Akademi president Ramachandra Behera.