PSC appointments stall amid lockdown even as rank lists expire

CCTV cameras, mobile jammers proposed to curb PSC exam fraud
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Thiruvananthapuram: Appointments to various posts by the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) have been severely affected owing to the quick expiry of rank lists and the delay in the publication of new ones by the government due to the ongoing curbs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, even though the state government has issued notifications for appointments to about 200 posts, it has not been able to conduct the PSC examinations to select candidates.

The law stipulates that the validity of a rank list that has expired cannot be given any extension. 

Candidates have made repeated requests to the state to relax the norm for expiring rank lists, but the official stance has been that the lists cannot be extended before they expire. The PSC can extend the validity of the lists only if the state government approves it, officials said.

A rank list whose validity was extended by three months in view of the COVID-19 lockdown expired on June 19. 

About 100 rank lists for various posts, including civil excise officer and high school and college teachers, now stand cancelled. 

The rank list for assistant surgeons will expire tomorrow (Saturday), while the list for civil police officers will expire on June 30.

The process of appointing civil police officers from the rank list was affected by allegations of copying during the exam. 

If the current limbo continues for six more months, the PSC will be without rank lists to make appointments for many posts, said officials.

The PSC has asked the state government to clarify its position on the existing rules. However, it has not got a reply. The commission has been told that the secretariat has been functioning without employees due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Although exams have been conducted for some PSC positions, a rank list has not been issued because the verification of documents, interview, fitness test and physical examination could not be completed. 

The state has now decided to start the process for interviews and verification of documents that had been delayed for months. It has, however, not been able to find suitable space for fitness tests and physical measurements of candidates due to the prevalence of the COVID pandemic.

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