Centre, state not in sync? Anupriya flags bias in job quota, UP govt says not true

In the letter, the Union MoS expressed concerns over ‘reservation provisions’ in jobs. The letter also claimed that unfilled seats meant for reserved category candidates were declared ‘unreserved’.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel.FILE Photo | PTI

LUCKNOW: In response to Union MoS Anupriya Patel’s letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) has said that there was no provision for marking any post as ‘unreserved’ or ‘Not Found Suitable’ in the appointment rule book if the aspirant of the reserved category failed to get minimum eligibility marks.

In the letter, the Union MoS expressed concerns over the ‘reservation provisions’ in jobs. The letter also claimed that unfilled seats meant for reserved category candidates were declared ‘unreserved’.

The Commission sent its reply to the state government, which in turn, forwarded it to the Union Minister who is also the president of NDA ally Apna Dal (S), through Additional Chief Secretary, Appointment and Personnel Devesh Chaturvedi.

What was Patel's contention?

Anupriya Patel, in her letter, drew the attention of the UP CM to the complaints she claimed to be getting from the reserved category candidates in the competitive exams. The recruitment was applied solely based on interviews; they were often declared ‘Not Found Suitable’ by the recruitment agency.

“Consequently, no candidate from SC/ST or OBC is selected to those posts,” the minister had said in her letter dated June 27, 2024.

The Union minister had added that after several repetitions of the same process, the reserved posts were declared 'unreserved', depriving the candidates of reserved categories of the benefit of quota.

Patel had urged the UP CM to take immediate steps to stop the practice so that the rising anger among the candidates of those categories could be checked in time. She had also demanded steps to ensure that such reserved posts go only to the categories, mandatorily, for which they were meant, irrespective of the number of times the recruitment process had to be conducted.

UPPSC Reply

Rejecting the allegation that reserved vacancies were filled as un-reserved, the Commission made it clear that reserved seats were never converted into ‘un-reserved’ seats.

In case any reserved vacancy was not filled, it was carried forward to next year's recruitment exercise as a ‘reserved vacancy’ to be filled only by the candidates of SC/ST and OBC categories.

Instead of marking them ‘not found suitable,’ the grade of such candidates was marked and converted into marks as per the law of average. It was then mentioned in the mark sheet signed by both the members of the two-member interview panel and the technical consultants, as stated by the UPPSC in correspondence to the state government, which was forwarded to the Union Minister.

The UPPSC further added that it was not authorised to convert any vacancy into any other category if it was left vacant due to either few numbers of the candidates of the reserved category, or if the eligible candidate failed to score the minimum required score to get appointed.

“As per the government order, all such unfilled vacancies are carried forward to the next year’s quota for recruitment,” said the Commission.

The Commission also clarified that the entire recruitment process happened to be coding-based, wherein, no one on the interview panel was provided with the personal details like name, registration number, age, reservation category, and caste of the aspirants.

The minimum qualifying marks for such interviews is 40 percent for General, EWS and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and 35 percent for Scheduled Castes (SCs)/Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Chaturvedi’s letter to Anupriya Patel said that the state’s Higher Education Department also confirmed that it did not convert the reserved category posts to ‘unreserved’ ones if any candidate was not found eligible for those posts.

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