BENGALURU: It was just a matter of difference of 1cm or 2 cm in their height. Four of the candidates who were selected for the Deputy Forest Officer (DFO) posts and were in training period at the Forest Training Institute at Dharwad are likely to lose their jobs as they are slightly shorter than the height prescribed. These measurements were not done by the forest department but by medical officers at government hospitals.
The height difference came to light after they were recruited. Now officials are checking the height of all the candidates at all their training institutes.
In 2016, the forest department issued a notification to recruit 329 DFOs. The recruitment process started in 2017 and by 2018 it was completed. Names of 329 candidates were finalised by end of 2018. These candidates were given appointment letters and were sent for 15 months training at the training institutes located in six places – Dharwad, Ilvala, Kushalanagar, Bidar, Chakra and Tattihalli.
Radha Devi, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Karnataka State Forest Academy), said that on the tenth day of the training she noticed that a few of them looked shorter than their batch mates. “I called my officials and the height of all the candidates was rechecked. We found that four of them were shorter than the prescribed height,’’ she said.
For the post of Deputy Range Officer, male candidates should be minimum 163 cm in height while female candidates 150 cm. Of the four candidates who were slightly short, one was male and the remaining female. While the male candidate’s height was 161 cm as against the prescribed 163 cm, one female candidate’s height was 149.5cm against 150cm and the other two 149cm. These measurements were done at government hospitals.
Now a letter has been sent by Radha Devi to the Head office. She also wrote to all the six centres where training of Forest Guards and Deputy Forest Officers is going on. “I have instructed them to redo the height measurements, there are chances of similar cases there,’’ she added.
Rajiv Ranjan, APCCF (Personnel and Recruitment), said they have sent a report to the medical officers. “Once we get the report, we will take action,’’ he said.