Vijayawada (Telangana) [India], June 24 (ANI): Days after the TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh accused the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) of discrepancies and corruption in Group 1 exams, APPSC member Shaik Salam Babu denied the allegations, stating that the digital evaluation and selection of candidates is done in an utmost transparent manner and the Commission is ready to clarify any doubts in this regard.
Addressing a press conference here today, Babu said, "Allegations have been levelled over the selection of candidates for group 1 exam interviews, but the digital evaluation and selection of candidates is done in an utmost transparent manner. We are ready to clear the doubts in that regard."
He stated that candidates are selected for interviews based on their merit and eligibility as per the conditions only, adding that the Commission provides equal opportunities to all candidates.
"Some allegations are made that some candidates are selected in sports quota. Further, allegations are made that 1350 candidates are selected for interview against the conditions of Mains exams. Those allegations are not correct at all. APPSC has provided equal opportunities to all candidates," clarified the APPSC member.
Babu informed that the answer booklets of some students were changed because they were damaged and in accordance with the rules.
Babu said, "Option was given to chose the language of writing the exam also. Some allegations were that the exam booklets were changed in some places. Wherever the booklets given to candidates are damaged, they are replaced with buffer booklets, in accordance with the rules. There were no irregularities in that process. Only a few whose booklets were changed got selected for interviews."
The APPSC member stated that there is no scope for the Commission members to know about which candidate passed the exam and who got selected for interviews. He also said that Paper setting and paper evaluation are monitored by a special wing in the APPSC.
"APPSC members have no chance to know who got passed in the exam and who got selected for interview. We have informed about digital evaluation almost one year prior to the mains exam. Paper setting and paper evaluation are monitored by a special wing in the APPSC," said the Commission member.
He stated that only after studying the implementation of the digital evaluation method in other states for two months and confirming that the evaluation process is leakproof, the method was adopted by the APPSC.
Babu said, "We have taken up digital evaluation method after studying the method implemented in different states for two months. Only after confirming that the digital evaluation process is leakproof, that process is adopted. The digital evaluation process has no problems. Allegations of discrepancies are not correct."
Stating that the Commission takes support of a third party only for scanning the answer sheets and mapping them, the APPSC member stated that the Commission has no connection with the marks a candidate obtains, denying Lokesh's allegations. He further said that the Commission shall clarify Lokesh's doubts and prove his allegations wrong.
"Examiners give marks based on the answers written. APPSC has no connection with the marks a candidate obtains. We took third party support only for scanning the answer sheets and mapping them. The allegations made by TDP leader Nara Lokesh are not correct at all. If Nara Lokesh comes to us, we will clarify all his doubts and prove his allegations wrong," said Babu.
APPSC member Shaik Salam Babu also denied the allegations of differences among the members and chairman of APPSC. He said that it is the chairman of the Commission, Uday Bhaskar who had introduced digital evaluation system in APPSC.
However, Babu said that Uday Bhaskar has been keeping away from the activities of the Commission.
"What can we do if he won't attend the meetings? The Chairman is equal to other members of the Commission. All members will have their own opinions and the opinion of the majority will be taken as the final decision of APPSC. Crucial decisions cannot be delayed due to the absence of the chairman. In such a situation, the Commission in-charge will conduct the meeting and opinion of the majority will be taken as a final decision," he explained.
Babu further said that APPSC is functioning smoothly for the past two years. He said they will consider filing defamation suit on those who made baseless allegations. He assured that APPSC will clarify all the doubts of the candidates.
Babu's remarks came days after TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh made allegations of irregularities in the evaluation process of Group 1 exams and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Lokesh had alleged that APPSC has turned into YSRCP Public Service Commission and accused that the commission had involved in a major scandal.
He had also alleged that APPSC is filled with pro-YSRCP members who have differences with the Commission's chairman. He had alleged a big scam comparable to the VYAPAM scam of MP in the digital evaluation of Group 1 exams. He demanded a manual evaluation of the exams and selection of candidates for interview in a transparent manner.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday ordered that the Group-1 interview process be suspended for four weeks. Notices to the effect were sent to secretaries of APPSC and the General Administration Department (GAD). The APPSC was scheduled to start the Group-1 interview process on Thursday.
Counsel for petitioners, Yogesh Thandava said that judge DVSS Somayajulu issued the interim orders after hearing petitions challenging the digital evaluation of Group-1 Mains exam answer booklets.
Around 326 candidates were shortlisted for the interview based on the marks obtained by them in the mains written exam which was held from December 14 to December 20, last year. A total of 169 vacancies in various departments are yet to be filled through the exam. (ANI)