What is SSC?
The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is a Government of India organisation. It’s function and purpose is to recruit staff at multiple levels in various ministries and central government departments. The body was constituted in 1975 as Subordinate Services Selection Board under the Department of Personnel and Training of the central government, and re-designated as Staff Selection Commission in 1977. It conducts examinations and interviews for recruitment to various posts within its purview. Every year, the commission conducts a graduate level exam, commonly known as SSC-CGL. Due to the job and financial stability, it is one of the most sought-after exams for graduates.
What is the ‘Scam’?
The ‘Scam’ pertains to the Tier 2 CGL examination. The examination was held between February 17 to February 21.
Authorities cancelled the second Shift of the 17th February exam at the Animate Infotech Center in Delhi. On 21st February, several technical glitches delayed the examination. Following this, screenshots of question papers were doing rounds on social media before the exam was over. Various aspirants claimed that the answers for many questions were already marked in the paper.
“In my centre at Badarpur, answersheets were found in the toilet. We called police but no action was taken after that,” alleged Aakash Yadav (25), who has written at least 10 SSC exams for different posts.
Three days later, on 24th February, SSC cancelled the exam. They stated to re-conduct on 9th March. SSC showed no intention to accept the massive misconduct and cheating across the country. This angered the youths and massive protest began on 27th February outside the SSC office in Delhi.
The protest and the response from SSC
Thousands of candidates have been protesting outside the SSC office at Lodhi Road, New Delhi since February 27 and were demanding a CBI inquiry into the paper leak issue. As the massive protest broke out in the capital, SSC met with the delegation of candidates and asked them to furnish evidences to support their claims. Later, SSC Chairman Ashim Khurana rejected allegations that the leakage occurred. “There has been no leakage of any question paper of CGL (Tier-II), 2017. Exams have been fairly conducted from February 17 to 22,” Khurana said. Khurana later alleged the coaching institutes for spreading the chaos to fulfill their motives of postponing the exams in order to conduct crash courses.
While the students gathered spontaneously, they have since found support from political parties and student organisations. The All India Students’ Association (AISA) has been backing the protesters from the beginning, and the NSUI and ABVP, students’ wings of the Congress and BJP, too, have extended solidarity. Their senior counterparts found subject for political mudslinging. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor demanded CBI investigation of the matter.
On 5th March, the Centre declared a CBI probe of the issue and the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition seeking investigation into the alleged scam on 12th March. However, for the mob, these decisions were not enough. They further demanded a proper format for the exam and the standardization on the difficulty level of the question paper.