OPSC clarification on ASO selection raises eyebrows

Additional Chief Secretary of Home Sanjeev Chopra has also ordered for verification of the recruitment process following a direction from the Orissa High Court.

Published: 01st February 2021 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2021 08:12 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Home department is conducting an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in selection of candidates for recruitment to the posts of assistant section officer (ASO), the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) has reportedly intimated the State government that there was no deviation in selection process.

However, a reply from the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) department to an RTI application revealed that there is something more to the OPSC clarification than meets the eye.Responding to the RTI query of Debasis Mohapatra, ASO of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department, the report submitted by the FS&CW department said four out of 23 ASOs posted in the department have completed degree courses, the minimum qualification for the post, in 2012 while two others became graduate in 2014.

In 2011, the Home department made a requisition to OPSC requesting selection of 800 ASOs for the State Secretariat and 11 for the Raj Bhawan Secretariat. The commission had issued a notification in October 2012 seeking applications from eligible candidates. The eligibility criteria was that the candidates should be above 21 years of age with upper age limit at 32 as on January 1, 2012 and the minimum qualification should be graduate in any discipline from a recognised university.

Candidates completing graduation in 2012 and 2014 will not be eligible as the cut-off date for minimum age limit was January 1, 2012. “The number of ineligible candidates selected and posted as ASOs in different departments in 2016 will be more than 100 if a proper scrutiny is made,” said a senior officer of Odisha Secretariat Service (OSS).

Additional Chief Secretary of Home Sanjeev Chopra has also ordered for verification of the recruitment process following a direction from the Orissa High Court.Sources in the Home department said the OPSC has clarified that the recruitment was made as per the corrigendum to the original advertisement published on August 21, 2014 for filling up the vacant posts. The selection process was held up for two years due to court cases. 


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