The West Bengal School Service Commission has asked Calcutta High Court that they be allowed to include 12,589 candidates in the merit list so they can be recommended for appointment at the upper primary level after the exclusion of 1,463 candidates because of mismatch in marks.
The commission, in an affidavit file on Monday, sought permission to start the recruitment process for which a written test was held in 2015.
There are 14,339 vacant posts at the upper-primary level (classes VI to VIII) of government-aided schools.
But the number of eligible candidates has come down to 12,589 because, the SSC has stated in its affidavit, “certain irregularities were detected in the OMRs of the 1,463 candidates who went out of the zone of consideration (recommendation)”.
“The irregularities included the mismatch of marks in case of 559 of the 1,463 OMR sheets and defaced OMRs in case of 902 others (along with mismatch) for which 1,463 candidates have been treated as ineligible,” the affidavit says.
Defaced OMRs means whiteners were used on the answer sheets, said a WBSSC official.
The commission submitted the affidavit before a high court division bench on Monday in compliance with a September 30, 2022 order in which the court instructed them to produce the merit list and the database.
A mismatch in marks means what the candidates actually scored was less than what the results showed.
When contacted, WBSSC chairperson Siddhartha Majumdar declined to comment.
The commission had decided to scan 14,052 answer scripts following complaints of marks mismatch at several levels, leading to the sacking of many teaching and non-teaching employees in secondary schools.
“Over the past months, the commission has been terminating the recommendation of in-service teaching and non-teaching staff at the secondary schools after detection of manipulation of marks in the selection test they wrote, following the court’s intervention. But the commission does not want this to happen while recruiting teachers at the upper primary level,” said a senior official of WBSSC.
“Therefore a re-examination of the answer scripts was conducted,” the official said.
From the TET-qualified can-didate pool, the SSC had in-terviewed around 12,470 can-didates in June 2021. Another 1,585 candidates were interviewed in November 2022.
The WBSSC was supposed to come up with a merit list based on test and interview scores and issue letters of rec-ommendation. “But instead of that, we decided to re-evaluate the OMRs with an independent agency, drawing lessons from what happened with appointments in secondary schools. The reassessment revealed inflated marks were uploaded on the WBSSC’s server... The OMRs were even defaced,” said a WBSSC official.
The affidavit says: “After the removal of... 1463 ineligible candidates, the total number who successfully appeared in interview and are fit to be included in the final merit list is 12589.”The court is likely to hear the case next week.