Siddaramaiah announces probe into KPSC scam

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Following charges of corruption in selection of candidates for gazetted officers’ posts by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC), Karnataka Government will study the examination pattern of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to see if it can be adopted by the KPSC to ensure transparency.

In reply to a calling attention notice of Leader of the Opposition H D Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday told the Legislative Assembly that in a day or two, the government would order a probe by a credible agency and seek a report in two or three weeks.

Mr. Kumaraswamy cited reports that appeared in The Hindu on June 10 and June 6 that described the modus operandi of touts who would strike deals between KPSC members and aspiring candidates.

Chief Minister noted that KPSC members could manipulate the interviews as 200 marks had been allotted for it. UPSC does not reveal total marks secured by a candidates till the completion of the interview to avoid manipulation at the interview level, he said.

“The KPSC has not sent a list of selected candidates. The government will withhold the list till the probe is completed,” Mr Siddaramaiah said. The examination was conducted for 361 Class ‘A’ and Class ‘B’ officers’ post by the KPSC.

The Chief Minister cited the case of Mythri, an MD in Pediatrics who had topped in the ST category in the KAS exams, being denied the Assistant Commissioner’s post by being given poor marks in the interview by the KPSC members. Ms Mythri had given him a complaint mentioning the cell phone number of persons who had sought a bribe of Rs 70 lakh, he added.

Earlier, Mr Kumaraswamy said that credibility of the KPSC had come under a cloud following the allegations that members demanded huge sums as bribes from candidates for selection and that they manipulated the interviews to favour those who agreed to pay bribes.

Fromer chief minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) leader B S Yeddyurappa demanded reduction of interview marks from 200 to 20 to ensure justice to all students and to eliminate corruption. “How can you expect a transparent and corruption free administration from candidates joining the government service by paying lakhs of rupees as bribes,” the KJP chief said.

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