UP: Little Hope for Govt job Aspirants in Yogi's Second Term
Uttar Pradesh is infamous for paper leaks and court cases in government recruitment jobs. During the last tenure of Yogi Adityanath (2017-22), there were umpteen court cases on exam paper leaks and delayed exams. His second term, which started in March this year, is also following the same trend with the leak of the UP Lekhpal (revenue department staff) recruitment exam conducted on July 31.
Although the government is denying the leak, but students from several exam centres accused the involvement of exam investigators in helping some examinees cheat through Bluetooth devices and demanded re-examination. The STF( special task force) also arrested paper solver gangs from different districts like Kanpur, Prayagraj and Bareilly.
As the Yogi government failed to manage the UP Lekhpal exam for 8,085 posts for which around 2.5 lakh candidates appeared, a big challenge before him is to peacefully conduct the UPSSSC (Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission) preliminary exam. Around 37 lakhs candidates are going to appear for the UPSSSC exam, which has been scheduled on October 15 and 16.
Since more than half a dozen of paper leaks and exam cancellations have already taken place in the first term of Adityanath, little hope is left for candidates in his second term. Following is a comprehensive list of significant paper leaks and following cancellation of exams.
1. July 2017: Question paper of online exam for UP Sub Inspectors’ posts was leaked over WhatsApp. STF arrested seven persons for their involvement. During the probe, they found that Rs 10 lakh was charged by the gang who used to install remote access to computers of examination centres to solve the papers.
2. February 2018: UPPCL (Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited) junior engineers’ exam paper was leaked; STF arrested 12 persons of a solver gang from various places in the state.
3. September 2018: The exam paper for Tubewell Operator posts was leaked; STF arrested 11 persons from Meerut.
4. November 2020: Diploma in elementary education paper was leaked; the exam was cancelled and postponed.
5.January 2021: CTET (Central Teachers Eligibility Test) paper leaked, and police arrested five persons.
6. November 202: UPTET(Uttar Pradesh Teacher eligibility test) paper leaked, and the police arrested around 50 persons.
After all these paper leaks, students across Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have burnt the effigies of PM Narendra Modi, vandalised trains and gathered in protest to show dissatisfaction with RRB NTPC exam earlier this year.
During his first term, Yogi Adityanath promised to conduct free and fair recruitment exams and give jobs to candidates within six months, but he has not been successful in keeping his word yet.
Some of the vacancies such as the ones for Uttar Pradesh Sub Inspector 2021 and Uttar Pradesh VDO (Village development officer) 2018 that started in Adityanath’s first term are still in the process of being filled. The notification on the exam for Uttar Pradesh Sub Inspector in the police departments was released in April last year, but the vacancy continues as a court case on cheating during the written test is ongoing, and the candidates are waiting for the medical round. This has made students worried about their future, leaving very little hope for transparency in upcoming exams.
Gopal Maurya from Varanasi, a candidate, explained his plight saying this has become the trend in Uttar Pradesh. The last UP Sub Inspector vacancy that started in 2016 took more than five years to be filled and was only completed in 2021 due to a paper leak and a court case. If the government was serious enough, the exam process could be completed within a year, he claimed.
Another such exam is for the post of Village Development Officer (VDO), conducted by the UPSSSC, for which the exam was conducted in December 2018, but finally in March 2020 commission repealed the result due to the involvement of paid paper solvers helping a few candidates. The Lucknow branch of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested paper solvers with lakhs of cash. Now, four years have passed and the candidates are still waiting for the next exam date, which is supposed to be in November this year.
Despite the pathetic condition of exam conducting bodies and decreasing number of public sector jobs, the craze for government jobs has not declined in the state. This can be seen from the fact that this year, 37 lakhs candidates applied for UPSSSC, which is responsible for conducting recruitment exams for Group C and D posts in the state; the number of candidates was 21 lakh last year.
Mukesh Kumar, an aspirant, blamed the prevailing unemployment and lack of job security and adequate remuneration at the private sector companies, especially for non-technical graduates, for the increasing number of government job applicants. Kumar further said that students have no choice except to appear for these exams year after year and ruin their precious youth.
As government jobs are known for job security, once a candidate gets selected, their job is permanent till retirement, which is generally at the age of 60. However, there are reportedly talks in the state to retire government employees by the age of 50, and many government employees are uncertain about their careers.
Raju Jaiswal, a 40-year-old from Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh who works as a constable in the Home Guards, sarcastically told NewsClick the days that the days of job security and pension are over and anything could happen under the Yogi government. “I have B.Sc degree; I only joined this service because of job security and pension, which might be scrapped in upcoming years; who knows? There are over a lakh of vacant posts in the primary and middle schools, and our children are waiting for these jobs, but the government's intention is clearly not to recruit anymore and to scrap the existing ones,” Jaiswal said.
There is a general consensus among aspirants for government jobs in Uttar Pradesh that the number of paper leak cases has increased under the Yogi government and the paper leak and solver rackets are very active. There is an urgent need to address the issue and not just the act of cracking down on paper leak gangs, they said.
Paper leak gangs are active in most districts of Uttar Pradesh. Their work is to make available the exam question paper to a few candidates, for which they charge a hefty amount of money. In the last few years, the police and SIT have arrested many involved in this business but have not been successful in eradicating their network.
Arun Mishra from Chandauli district, who runs a coaching institute for competitive exams, said that bribe in government recruitment jobs is an old problem. “I believe it is happening because of the nexus between solver gangs, police, commission officers and exam conducting private companies,” he said.
Lack of seriousness on the government’s part and not having any foolproof machinery to curb these incidents are the main reasons for the perpetuation of paper leaks, Mishra claimed.
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