So, is there a need to make appointments and promotions in the state government more transparent?
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These are some questions being raised on social media after the daughter-in-law of Rajasthan Education Minister, Govind Singh Dotasra, and her brother and sister secured 80 out of 100 marks in the interview round of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) exams, while many toppers of the RAS written test were given marginal numbers.
The marks in the interview round make a significant difference to the overall tally and affect a candidate’s rank, based on which positions are allotted.
In the examinations held for RAS-2018, the results of which were announced recently, two relatives of Dotasra, including his daughter-in-law’s sister Prabha and her brother Gaurav Poonia, were given 80 out of 100 in the interview round, when they secured 47.44 per cent and 49.75 per cent in the written examination, respectively.
In 2016 too, his daughter-in-law Pratibha got 50.25 per cent in the written test and 80 per cent in the interview round.
“It seems that the three candidates were interviewed by the same person, or else should we call this ‘coincidence’,” asked Gulab Chand Kataria, the Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan.
The state topper in RAS-2018 exams, Mukta, secured 77 per cent marks in the interview round. Another candidate, Garima, who secured over 100 marks in each of her four subjects, managed only 25 per cent marks in the interview round.
Dotasra, on his part, has said that three of his relatives got 80 per cent in the interview because of their talent.
“Scoring 80 per cent in the RPSC interview is not a big deal if the candidate has talent,” he said.
Looking at the anomalies, Kataria asked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to order a probe into the matter.
“Even if the Chief Minister of Rajasthan has little faith in justice, he should immediately remove the PCC state president and education minister, and initiate a high-level inquiry. Also, he should immediately take steps for the proper functioning of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission, as lakhs of promising students from the state are losing an opportunity they deserve,” he said.
Social media users have created a hashtag — ‘Shikshamantri istifa do’ — demanding the resignation of Dotasra and the scrapping of the interview round of the RAS exams.
They are sharing memes criticising the education minister, Other incidents too have cast a shadow on the RAS exam. Recently, the state’s anti-corruption bureau nabbed an RPSC staffer red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 23 lakh before the declaration of RAS examination results.
However, RPSC chairman, Bhupendra Yadav, has described the examination as ‘foolproof’.
A few months back, questions were raised when state minister Mamta Bhupesh’s husband was promoted to the IAS rank.
The recent appointment of Olympian and Congress MLA Krishna Poonia’s husband Virendra Poonia as the sports officer was also questioned.
Arjuna Awardee Bajrang Lal Takhar was also interviewed along with Virendra Poonia. The controversy started when former Olympian Gopal Saini wrote a letter to the Chief Minister on Juky 14, questioning the selection process.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia said that the Congress is misusing its power to appoint “undeserving candidates” to different posts.
“Such questions being raised about a reputed institution like RPSC is a matter of shame for the state government and due action should be taken against the guilty,” Poonia said.