For over a month, the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) has been going through a difficult phase due to the cash-for-job scam in which its Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul was involved. He was thus arrested on November 4 last in connection with the cash-for-job scam in the Commission. Following the arrest of APSC Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul, two members Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley, Assistant Controller of Examinations Pabitra Kaibarta and another official were arrested in connection with alleged corruption in the organisation. Then the state government gave this big responsibility in the hands of Brig (retd) Ranjit Barthakur – the newly elected Acting Chairman. Hardly three days would have passed since his appointment then he announced that soon the Commission would conduct the postponed examinations and interviews.
Following this, the pending screening tests and pending oral test for recruitment process of 786 medical and health officials will be conducted in the next 15 days as there is shortage of these professionals in the state. On an instant basis, recommendation letter to those who took exam for school teacher’s jobs will be sent for appointment. However, for the same the Commission will seek the advice of the government, because, in many cases a legal advice as well as seek opinion and advice from the state government is necessary. For the exams conducted by APSC for several government jobs, there are some posts where both written and oral marks are added, while in case of direct recruitment the candidates are chosen through interviews and then screening tests if there are a lot of applicants.
Stating the Commission is duty bound to implement all the directions given by the Chief Minister, including use of CCTV during interviews, Barthakur said the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Personnel) have offered necessary help to ensure that the Commission can carry out assigned task.
Commenting on the differences in relationship with Rakesh Paul, he said that professional differences were there. Several times he had written letter to him disagreeing with him on violation of mandated procedural matters. But he wasn’t ever aware about corruption involving cash for money. Further the newly appointed chairman insisted 90-95 per cent of the people in the APSC are good. People should not have negative feelings but keep their trust in us and the old glory will be brought back.
He assured that though it is a big challenge and he will try his best to bring back the past glory of the Commission. Whatever credit it has earned in the past seems to have eroded with the negative developments in the recent past.