Vacant Posts, Paper Leaks, and Delayed Process: Sad State of Rajasthan’s Government Vacancies
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI
Inside Rajasthan University in Jaipur, the library and the hostel rooms present a different picture altogether, and it seems like it is a hub of students preparing for government exams. Although the University has a variety of subjects to offer a good number of departments, the focus of most of the students is always on the govt job after completing their graduation or masters from there.
“We find this place a comfortable spot where we get the study material, have all the space to study, and away from all the hubbub. There is no other reason why we have chosen the University,” says a student who wishes to remain anonymous.
This is the perspective of students across streams who want to take up government sector exams, while the State, in the past five years, has continued to disappoint them. From vacancies in REET(meant for teaching) to Van Rakshak, and even the vacancies for (SI) remain pending owing to the alleged paper leaks that happened in the State.
The condition is as bad as it is in other States of the country like Madhya Pradesh, a state that will also see the Assembly Elections and Uttar Pradesh. Several vacancies, such as the one for teachers, patwari, etc, have seen paper leaks time and again at an increased rate in the past five years, and Rajasthan follows the same pattern.
Rajasthan Eligibility Exam for Teachers (REET)
Back in September 2021, the exams for REET were to be taken. A total of 48000 vacancies were announced by the government required to be filled across the state amid primary, secondary, and high school education. Padam, a resident of Karauli, had been preparing for the exam for the past three-four years. He comes from a family where his father is the sole earning member. The paper was cancelled, and Padam’s hopes were left aloof. The exam and the job were very important for him.
Ever since the paper got cancelled, he is been completely distorted and has been working on preparations for different exams instead of just one. He is subjected to constant taunts from the family, who keep asking him when he will prepare. “I do not like to sit idle either. Had that exam been taken, I would have cleared. I had given my heart and soul to the preparation,” says Padam.
He further said that if the corruption from the government’s end continues to be as it is at the moment, he will be compelled to join a private job where he would have much less job security amid other problems.
It was found that much before the exam was supposed to be taken, at least a month before that, a group had bought out the paper from an unknown member of the Board that conducts the exam. The accused were Ramkripal Meena, Bhajanlal Bishnoi, and Udaram Bishnoi. They told the police that they had bought the papers for a sum of Rs 5 Cr and were later to be sold to the students for 10-15 lacs. As per Rajasthan police, the papers were sold to at least 300 candidates before the exam was conducted.
In February 2023, the exam was retaken, and this time, as well, discrepancies were found. A group was allegedly caught solving the REET papers in a marriage hall at Jodhpur. The vigilance was, although better this time, when the internet was shut down in 11 cities, and the police deployment was more. However, many students find it difficult to believe that the exam results were fair.
Later in the year, right before the State will undergo assembly elections, the joining process was speeded up by the State government. Avinash, a candidate of REET, has his documents stuck for verification and now will not be able to receive joining for an indefinite time, as the further joinings would depend upon the next regime and when they begin with the completion of the process.
Around 3000-4000 students, as per what the students themselves narrate, have their joining process stuck for different reasons. Murlidhar, a farmer kid from Hanumangarh, has been waiting to join. He had been allotted a school as well, but the officials kept his documents aside, saying that his B.Ed was from a different State. Apparently, the students were not informed that this could be a problem if they did not have their B.Ed from Rajasthan itself.
Murlidhar says, “Although I do not appreciate the condition of education in our State currently, I still did not have a problem pursuing B.Ed from the state, but the Centre allotted to him was 14 hours away from his place. Being the only child, I also have responsibilities towards my parents. I help them with farming and everything else, so it is difficult for me to go there. While on the other hand, the college in Haryana was nearby, so I chose to do it from there.” The classes for B.Ed, as informed by the students, happen only once in two weeks.
Forest Guard Exam
Ankit is a 25-year-old from Jhunjhunu. His father is a farmer as well, and he has been studying rigorously to land a government job. The forest guard exam took place in October 2022. There are three exams that one needs to take to clear the post. The first day, in Ankit’s experience, everything was smooth sailing, and the exam went really well as well.
However, on the second day, Ankit realised that the paper was leaked when he himself received a message from an anonymous number which had the exam paper in it. “I believe all the three exam papers were leaked. I only received the papers of the second exam, but I realised that if this were the case, all the papers had been leaked.” He also informed NewsClick that the merit list was too high when the results came out. The marks people had scored seemed impossible without a flaw in the system.
When action was demanded from the State, only the second paper for which the paper even Ankit received, most probably the one which was the most circulated, was retaken. However, the rest of the exams were not taken into consideration.
Ankit, now, after being disappointed by what happened during the REET exam and the Forest Guard exam, has pledged that he shall not sit for any of the exams taken by the State government. He believes that the whole system is involved in such paper leaks, and the ones who try to protect it are the only people benefitting from this, while the Youth remains unemployed.
Similar instances happened in the case of other exams as well, such as the one for Patwari and Sub-inspector. In one case, it was found once the results were declared that over 100 students selected for a post of 300 were from one district only.
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