Deadlock over APPSC fiasco ends as Govt agrees to most of PAJSC demands

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 18 Feb: After a 8 hours long intense discussion between state government, representatives of Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC), ANSU, Nari Shakti and activist Sol Dodum, the government agreed to most of the 13 point demands placed earlier by PAJSC and ANSU. With it, the bandh call in the state capital has also been withdrawn. On the part of the state government, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, home minister Bamang Felix and minister for WRD Mama Natung were present along with senior bureaucrats.

As per the minutes made available, the government has responded positively to most of the 13 point demands.

The government informed that the chairman, secretary and members officials of APPSC from 2014 to 2022 and any other official/private person are already under the purview of investigation. Based on the findings of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken by the investigating agency, CBI.

The state government had written to the Gauhati High Court to designate District and Sessions Court Yupia (or any other District and Sessions Court) as a Special Fast-Track Court to take up the APPSC paper leakage cases. The high court has positively responded and agreed to designate district and sessions court Yupia as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leakage cases.

The government has agreed to recommend setting up of a Standing Grievance Redressal Committee and institutional mechanism to deal with the grievances of the candidates/aspirants.

Further, they agreed to place a demand to the government of India within a month for a high- level enquiry committee headed by a retired SC or HC Judge for examinations wherever paper leakage took place from 2014-2022. On the request of the aspirants, the state government will formally write to ED to investigate all incumbents in the APPSC from 2014-2022 within this month.

During the course of investigation, till now 41 government employees have been arrested in the question paper leakage case. The government shared the status of the employees and action taken against them. Of the total 41, 20 of them are regular government employees. All these 20 arrested have been suspended and departmental enquiry has been started and it is at different stages.

Regarding 20 employees who are under probation and were arrested, mandatory one month’s prior notice of termination, as required under CCS (Temporary service) Rules, which have already been issued in the 19 out of above 20 cases. The appropriate orders including termination from service in respect of these 19 employees will be issued on expiry of one month period, the government shared. The services of contractual employees have already been discontinued.

 Further, on the request of the aspirants, action for termination of Taket Jerang will be initiated immediately. The entire 3 member committee report was placed in the public domain and copies handed over to the aspirants also. Also, it was shared that all the examinations which were scheduled to be conducted by the APPSC were cancelled/postponed immediately after the paper leakage issue came to light.

On the request of the aspirants, the state government will take up with UPSC to conduct the pending exams within one month. On the contentious demand for declaration of any examination found to be involved with malpractices like paper leakage scams be immediately declared null and void, the government said request is being sent to APPSC which is the competent authority to decide this.

Regarding the inclusion of 2 members from the aspirants in the preparation of SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of APPSC, the inputs of the aspirants will be sent to the Commission for consideration.

The government also announced that whistleblower Gyamar Padang will be recognized appropriately for his contribution.

On the issue of Mudang Yabyang (PwD deprived candidate), the government said they had already conveyed to APPSC to re-examine and reconsider her case. The state government will reiterate this position to APPSC. Also, the streamlining of selection criteria for (Persons with Disabilities) candidates will be taken up immediately and the aspirants will give inputs for the same.

The demand for cancellation of order by the present chairman and members of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission was agreed. The same will be taken to Cabinet for approval. A fresh Search Committee will be constituted. A column for declaration of properties of all applicants will be added in the application form. Also, all injured in the protest will be compensated as per norms after seeking a report from the DC. Lastly, the delegation agreed to withdraw the Bandh call.