While the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) is burdened with heavy workload amidst severe staff shortage, its proposal for the creation of 163 additional posts has met with a severe setback with the Finance Department writing to the General Administration Department (GAD) that the PSC already had more than 15 per cent excess employees.
In the note, the Finance Department pointed out that the PSC, which had a staff strength of 1600, was engaged in the recruitment of 15,000 candidates on an average every year.
It was after repeated requests from the PSC for the creation of 163 additional posts that the Cabinet forwarded the proposal for the consideration of the Finance Department in the first week of January.
The Finance Department’s suggestion to consider downsizing is now under the consideration of the Empowered Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary.
Interestingly, in spite of the fact that the Finance Department had sent such a reply on the proposal on June 21, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly while replying to T V Rajesh on June 25 that the proposal was under government’s consideration.
Kerala PSC, being the first in the country by processing over 80 lakh applications and conducting record number of examinations a year, recently took candidatefriendly initiatives such as one-time registration, call centre facility etc.
But the shortage of staff has already started affecting the much-touted call centre facility.
PSC Chairman K S Radhakrishnan told ‘Express’ that as of now, out of the 30 lines at the call centre only 5 lines were functional following shortage of staff to man the call centre.
Certificate verification is also moving ahead at a snail’s pace.
Candidates are complaining about lack of response from the call centre and loss of money on account telephone line congestion caused by the large number of calls.
When pointed out the Finance Department’s reply to its proposal, the PSC Chairman, however, said that it was natural for the Finance Department to object to its demand.
“In fact, our workload has been doubled.
More and more institutions are entrusting the recruitment of their staff to the PSC.
With the NCA notification, whether it be for just two posts or for 100 posts, we have to issue notification,’’ he said.
“I get an average of 200 letters daily.
Would you believe that the Chairman has no secretariat to handle such letters.
A confidential assistant and private secretary have to go through this among other routine works,’’ Radhakrishnan said.
He pointed out that they could not set up a help-desk to expedite online registration.