Himansu Shekhar Rout

Alleging massive irregularities in the Computer-Based Test (CBT) for the recruitment of Junior Teachers, a large number of aspirants on Thursday staged protests outside the office of the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) in Bhubaneswar.

Even on Wednesday, after the merit list of the CBT was published, a similar protest was staged by a group of candidates.

The agitating aspirants expressed their displeasure and alleged that a cut-off list had not been published before the merit list. Another serious allegation they made was that many examinees with higher scores had not been placed on the merit list.

They thronged the OSEPA office to file RTI applications seeking details of their marks secured in the examination. Several candidates queued up to submit RTI applications to the OSEPA.  

The agitating aspirants clamoured to declare the marks of the successful and failed candidates. As tension spread on the OSEPA premises, police personnel were deployed. 

Shockingly, a candidate showed an anomaly in an admit card issued in the name of one 'Mahal Manda' (a trending Odia song) while his father’s name was mentioned as ‘Mahal Manda Pro.’ The photo on the admit card was suspected to be of a coaching centre teacher. 

An agitating aspirant mockingly alleged, “The OSEPA is not maintaining any transparency in the recruitment of junior teachers, but the 5T chairperson is maintaining transparency. Look at this admit card. One Mahal Manda has appeared in the exam. Who is this Mahal Manda? He will be appointed as a teacher. The photo of the candidate is that of a coaching centre teacher.”

Candidates cited another anomaly in the admit card in which the photo of a bird has been found.          

Also Read: Odisha Junior Teacher recruitment exam: Aspirants allege irregularities in CBT

Many examinees having secured more marks have been left out of the merit list while there is no clarity about how many of the successful candidates belong to the SC, ST and UR categories, the agitating aspirants alleged.

However, OSEPA director Anupam Shah said that as per the resolution, we have published a draft merit list of 18, 805 candidates. “We had earlier received objections about the answer keys of the test. We examined the objections from our side. The result of the exam was evaluated on the basis of the CBT scores. There is no problem with it. We have followed the normal process pertaining to the online test,” Shah added.

Clarification on anomalies in admit cards  

As for the anomalies in the admit cards, the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) later clarified, “Admit cards are automatically generated on the basis of information submitted by the applicants. Exams were conducted on the basis of admit cards issued after verification of photos and after taking bio-metric attendance. Therefore, the admit card issued is neither an authenticated document, nor was it an assurance of entry to the exam hall.”

It was further stated that the OSEPA has verified the biometric attendance of all candidates who had actually written the exam. Advertisement for about 20,000 posts in different categories was published, but only 18,788 candidates were in the draft merit list, which was published taking into account the availability of candidates in different categories.

"The certificate verification of all candidates will be conducted and all ineligible candidates will be removed from the list while the district allotment is done on the basis of preferences selected by the candidates at the time of application. It was an entirely automated and online process," the OSEPA added.

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