Tribunal no to OPSC again

For the second time in 10 months, the Odisha Administrative Tribunal today invalidated the evaluation process adopted by Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) for selection of candidates for Odisha Civil Services (Main) Examination - 2011.

By LALMOHAN PATNAIK in Cuttack
  • Published 19.06.15
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Cuttack, June 18: For the second time in 10 months, the Odisha Administrative Tribunal today invalidated the evaluation process adopted by Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) for selection of candidates for Odisha Civil Services (Main) Examination - 2011.

The tribunal, however, directed the OPSC to restrict the benefit of grace marks to those candidates who had attempted the wrong and faulty questions and prepare a fresh merit list.

The OPSC held the OCS (Preliminary) Exam- 2011 on January 19, 2014. Nearly 35,200 candidates took the test. However, 5,823 candidates were declared qualified on May 2, 2014, to take the main examination.

On August 26, 2014, the tribunal's acting chairman S.N. Dash quashed the preliminary examination results on the ground that the OPSC had awarded grace marks to all candidates in 18 of the 26 optional subjects for wrong and faulty questions.

Orissa High Court on September 3, 2013 stayed the order and allowed the OPSC to go ahead with the OCS (Main) Examination from September 6 to 30, but directed it not to go ahead with the evaluation process. On January 16, 2015, the high court remitted the matter back to the tribunal for fresh adjudication by a division bench.

In its verdict, the tribunal directed the OPSC to immediately come up with a fresh merit list for selection of candidates for the main examination.

"The division bench of acting chairman B.K. Das and member (administration) S.K. Das directed the OPSC to award full marks or grace marks for wrong and faulty questions only to those candidates who had attempted them and draw an absolutely fresh merit list," OPSC's counsel Shashi Bhusan Jena told The Telegraph.

"While directing to complete the entire process within a couple of months, the tribunal gave OPSC the liberty to conduct the main examination again, if necessary," Jena said.

OPSC had given grace marks in veterinary science (5), botany (17.5), chemistry (7.5), commerce and accountancy (5), economics (7.5), electrical engineering (5), education (10), geography (10), geology (7.5), home science (2.5), management (5), mathematics (5), mechanical engineering (2.5), physics (5), political science (5), public administration (10), sociology (7.5), statistics (2.5).

As there were no wrong questions, grace marks were not given in psychology, philosophy, zoology, agriculture, law, history, civil engineering and anthropology.

In its August 26, 2014 order, the state administrative tribunal had observed: "Any provision of grace marks for candidates is anathema to the case of a competitive examination where best candidates out of the lot are supposed to be selected."