27 September 2023

INDIA: Chair of troubled Agency quits early

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The Chair of the trouble-plagued Public Service Commission in the Indian State of Uttarakh and has resigned just 18 months into a six-year term.

Rakesh Kumar said he was quitting for “personal reasons”.

The short tenure of Dr Kumar (pictured), a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, was full of challenges, with three Public Service examinations conducted by the Commission being cancelled over allegations examination papers had been leaked in advance.

The move triggered speculation in the media that he had been pushed into resigning.

It was during his tenure that the Commission was assigned the additional responsibility of conducting Group C recruitment examinations for minor Public Service posts previously conducted by the Uttarakh and Subordinate Services Selection Commission after the latter got embroiled in earlier paper leak cases.

However, the leaks continued and three examinations held by the Commission had to be cancelled.

In a further setback to the Commission’s reputation, the involvement of two officers it employed were also allegedly found to be involved in the leaks.

In a separate development, a woman is believed to have committed suicide after failing to qualify for the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission examination.

After being found unconscious, the 24-year-old was taken to hospital in Srinagar, but could not be revived.

Friends said she was upset and depressed after failing the examination.

Public Service examination-related suicides as a result of failure or overwork in preparation are not unknown in India, where Public Service membership is seen as highly prestigious and a way out of poverty.

New Delhi, 15 June 2023

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