CBI to probe CGPSC-2021 exam: BJP Cabinet’s first major decision

Raipur:The Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CGPSC)-2021 examination, which was embroiled in controversies in Chhattisgarh, will be investigated by the CBI. This decision was taken for the first time in the newly formed cabinet after the BJP came into power. Prior to this, the High Court had put a stay on 13 appointments while heading public interest litigation.

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Under the State Service Examination of the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CGPSC) in 2021, a selection list was released for recruitment to 170 positions across 12 departments. Allegations were made regarding the selection of relatives of several IAS, IPS officers, and Congress leaders, including the former chairman of the PSC, Taman Singh Sonwani.
This issue became a significant point during the elections for the first time. The BJP promised an investigation and strict action against those found guilty after coming to power. The sensitive issue lead by BJP spokesperson Gourishankar Shrivas and after that former BJP Minister Nankiram Kanwar had filed a PIL in the High Court to the same. Currently, the matter is under consideration. The scandal in the PSC recruitment had become a major issue during the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.
The BJP highlighted this issue from the streets to the parliament. There were protests outside the CM’s residence, and even the Union Home Minister Amit Shah issued an accusation letter, emphasizing the matter. Prior to this, Tejasvi Surya, the national president of the BJP Youth Wing, had also raised the issue in a rally in the capital.
The exposure of the PSC scandal was done by Gourishankar Shrivas after receiving huge complaints from CGPSC aspirents than he stated that this investigation would bring fairness and transparency to competitive exams. The assurance for this investigation was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has now been fulfilled. In May 2023, Shrivas had demanded a CBI investigation and a narcotic test for the chairman from the Governor.
While the decision to conduct a CBI investigation into the CGPSC case has been made in the state cabinet, the ban on CBI entry into the state for investigation has not been lifted. The Chhattisgarh government had given general consent to the CBI for investigation and raids in the state in 2001, which was later withdrawn by the Bhupesh government.
Candidates received full marks even for providing completely wrong answers. In the main examination of CGPSC 2022, answer sheets went viral on social media where candidates were awarded marks even for writing incorrect answers openly. Among those who received marks this way were candidates selected for positions like Deputy Collector and DSP.
In one question where candidates were asked to describe Hanuman’s contribution during the 1857 revolution, a candidate instead provided information about Veer Narayan Singh. The examiner awarded 5.5 out of 8 marks for this answer.
Similarly, in another question related to the habitat and characteristics of Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, a candidate answered that it is located in Assam, mentioning the presence of a one-horned rhinoceros and the conservation of the Asian lion. The examiner awarded 2 marks for this answer.
Candidates were not given any marks for providing the correct answer about ‘nipa,’ while full marks were awarded for the wrong answer. Similarly, a candidate who provided incorrect information about the operating system received full marks.
Ravi Bhagat, the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, welcomed the decision to conduct a CBI investigation into irregularities in the CGPSC exams. He stated that this move will rectify the injustices done to the youth and bring those responsible behind the bars.
Allegations were made against several officers’ children and relatives, including the then chairman of the commission, Tamansingh Sonwani, and the Raj Bhavan secretary Amrit Khalko, regarding their appointments to the post of Deputy Collector. Candidates had protested this by staging a naked demonstration.
Bhupesh government was accused of turning a blind eye to the injustices done to the youth and using arguments to justify these appointments. The High Court had emphasized the need for an investigation into these appointments.
The decision to investigate the recruitment scandal of the CGPSC through CBI has been taken in the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. It was stated in the meeting that there were complaints of irregularities in the recruitment examination conducted by the commission in 2021.

Manish Tiwari

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