JAMMU, Aug 27: In a major decision, the Government has shifted entire staff of Services Selection Board (SSB) including six Under Secretaries, five Legal Officers and many other senior officials after leakage of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) Sub Inspectors’ exam and reported leakage of two others including Financial Accounts Assistants (FAAs) and JE Civil amid reports that these three question papers are just tip of iceberg and many more in past might also have been leaked to gullible youth in exchange of money.
The Government could also remove some, or even all, Members of the SSB, all of whom are Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services (JKAS) officers. A call on fate of two exams including FAAs and JE Civil is likely to be taken next week by the Government but indications of irregularities in them are very clear.
Top official sources told the Excelsior that six Gazetted Officers in the rank of Under Secretaries and 77 other officials have been removed from the SSB with immediate effect and posted in different Government departments. The substitutes are being placed at disposal of the SSB.
“Some of the officials (now shifted) were posted in the SSB for last 30 years while few others were deployed in the Board for 15-20 years. Obviously, few of them might have developed vested interest and could be instrumental in leakage of papers though the matter of paper leak is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” sources said.
Five Legal Officers, two of them in Gazetted rank, have also been removed from the SSB.
Sources said some, or even all, SSB members, all of whom are JKAS officers might be shifted and new ones posted in their place as the Government wants complete overhaul of the Board to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated in future and new exams are held in free, fair and transparent manner.
In another important decision, the Government has decided to adopt Staff Selection Commission (SSC) mode for all further examinations to be conducted by the SSB.
“The SSB will shortly switch over to ‘computer mode’ examinations,” sources said, adding this will help plug leakage of question papers in future.
It may be mentioned here that the SSB has already stopped taking services of M/s Merit Trac Services Private Limited Bangalore for all future examinations as name of the agency has been included in the FIR registered by the CBI.
Sources said the Government decision on fate of examinations of FAAs and JE Civil which were also conducted by the SSB through Merit Trac Services Pvt Ltd in March this year is expected to be taken any time now, most likely at the start of next week.
These two exams along with Jammu and Kashmir Police Sub Inspectors were held in March. After complaints of irregularities in the Sub Inspectors’ exams surfaced, the Government had ordered inquiry by a three-member Committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) RK Goyal and comprising then Principal Secretary General Administration Department (GAD) Manoj Kumar Dwivedi and Administrative Secretary Law Achal Sethi.
On the basis of inquiry report, the exam was cancelled and CBI probe recommended into leakage and other aspects.
The Government had also referred to the same Inquiry Committee the allegations of irregularities in two more examinations including FAAs and JE Civil. The Inquiry Committee has already submitted its report and the Government will now take a decision early next week. While merit list of FFAs had already been released when issue of irregularities surfaced, it has been withheld in case of JE Civil in view of inquiry and pending Government decision.
Sources, however, said that not only these three examinations but some others taken previously by the SSB might have also been leaked. However, investigations into them can be taken up only if the Government gives its nod. (Source: The Daily Exclesior)