The Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level 2017 examination has been marred with several controversies. First, due to allegations of malpractice and paper leakage, the whole examination procedure was extended by close to a year. It was only in May 2019 that the results were declared. Now the students are claiming that the vacancies across departments have been considerably reduced. Reportedly, this decrease in vacancy will affect close to 4,000 qualified candidates.
There were multiple reasons given by the commission on this. They said that the concerned departments failed in reporting about the vacancy in the given time slot. Further, the RTI reply said that the difference between the initially reported vacancy in the departments and the one which finally came was too high to be considered.
On the basis of RTI responses received, SSC candidates say there were 3082 vacancies for the post of an auditor in the Comptroller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) department reported 100 vacancies for the Assistant Account Officer post and 500 vacancies for the Accountant position. Similarly, the Ministry of Statistical and Program Implementation reported 74 vacancies for Junior Statistical Officers.
The Logical Indian spoke to a few candidates who are now not very sure about what lies ahead for them due to this fiasco.
29-year-old Pramod Kaushik from Faridabad had to leave his job at a coaching institute to completely dedicate his time towards preparation for SSC CGL 2017. “I requested my employer to give me a short break to prepare for the exam. However, since that option was not feasible, I had to resign. I was 27 at that time and had prepared fairly well. However, due to complications in the conduct of the exam, the procedure went on for about two years. Now that the result has been declared after a delay of eight months, we now have another problem with the great reduction in the number of vacancies.”
Pramod said that the vacancy for SSC CGL 2016 was some 11,000 odd. However, for the 2017 exam, it has been reduced to just 8,000. “All this caused a delay in SSC CGL 2018. I will turn 30 shortly and because of these delays, I stand losing the chance at SSC.”
MK Radhakrishna, a 27-year-old BTech graduate from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, said, “Every year it takes one and a half years to complete the entire process of SSC CGL, however, the 2017 exam procedure has exceeded by two years. Further, the vacancies have been curtailed. People were expecting at least 11,000 to 12,000 vacancies this year. 2016 had almost 11,000, but for 2017, it has been reduced to 8000 odd posts. Maybe the concerned departments notified the number of vacancies a little late, but I feel this can be sorted but the Commission lacks concern.”
Due to uncertainty with regard to the 2017 examination, 23-year-old Shreya Mittal from Hisar in Haryana had to pursue MTech as a backup. “Relatives and neighbours keep asking about our next course of action, it causes great embarrassment. However, I consider myself very fortunate that there is no pressure from my family, but the same cannot be said for many of the candidates for whom this exam was the be-all and end-all.”
Shreya further said, “It is not easy studying over 8 hours a day. And over that our exam was delayed and rescheduled multiple times. This took a toll on my health as well. I gained at least 15 kgs during that time.”
“This exam has been the worst experience of my life,” said 23-year-old Vivek from Patna.
“I have been an average student in school and graduation. But family pressurized me to clear the exam and get a government job. I completed my graduation in 2017 and then I dedicated myself completely to prepare for SSC. I studied with all my might. In fact, before the tier 2 exam, I did not sleep properly in order to devote my all to the exam,” Vivek said.
However, the multiple delays and the reduction in vacancies have made Vivek doubt if all this effort and handwork would yield any result or not.
He said, “Post demonetisation, my father’s business suffered a lot. In a way, all the responsibility fell on my shoulders. All I want is to support my family financially.” Vivek now has taken the 2018 exam of SSC CGL, but hopes that he gets posting under the SSC CGL 2017 vacancy. Until then, all Vivek and about 4000 candidates can do is to hope.
It is understandable that it is the authorities’ discretion on deciding the number vacancy, however, the least they could do to redeem themselves after the poor conduct of SSC CGL 2017 is to provide a sufficient number of vacancies.