9th April, 2019
Nationwide youth movement the Yuva Halla Bol today made shocking disclosures about the country’s largest recruitment institution SSC puncturing the Modi governments all claims on employment and good governance. Yuva Halla Bol leader and Chief Spokesperson of Swaraj India, Anupam, laid serious allegations against Modi government that is already under fire for giving SSC Chairman Ashim Khurana an illegal service-extension in violation of all rules.
Based on documents accessed through RTI, Anupam said that not only was the extension given to Ashim Khurana in 2018 illegal, but even his appointment in 2015 is under serious question. Staff Selection Commission is among the biggest recruiting agencies of India, through which annually 20 million young people dream of getting a job and bright future. Nationwide protests took place in 2018 against corruption, irregularities and paper leak in SSC and chairman Ashim Khurana was at the centre of students’ anger during these protests. Under the pressure of protests, the Government was forced to order a CBI enquiry but even after one year, investigations haven’t been completed, guilty have not been punished and students haven’t been able to get justice. The matter was brought to Supreme Court through senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan against irregularities in recruitment. It’s clear from CBI’s FIR that the massive scam was one of the results of collusion between SSC officers and the private vendor Sify technologies.
Despite this, the PM led Cabinet Committee gave service extension of one year to Mr. Khurana, that too illegally and by retrospectively amending the recruitment rules. At a press conference held in Delhi, Yuva Halla Bol made shocking revelations based on fresh information accessed through RTI. Youth leader Anupam said that even Shri Ashim Khurana’s appointment as SSC Chairman in 2015 is under cloud and serious questions.
An advertisement was issued on 14th May 2015 by DoPT for appointment to the post of SSC Chairman, which clearly said that only those applications will be considered which come through proper channel and it was also stated that the upper age limit for the post would be 59 years.
A total of 35 officers from various departments applied, out of which initially 4 were shortlisted for interviews and then 2 names were finally s elected for recommendation to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments. Before recommending names to this Cabinet Committee comprising PM Modi and Rajnath Singh, the selection process was undertaken by a 4-member selection committee. Showing the documents with names of all those officers, Anupam made shocking revelation that Ashim Khurana was neither among the 2 shortlisted candidates, nor among 4, his name wasn’t even among those 35 applicants. This means that Ashim Khurana, who was made the SSC Chairman, didn’t even apply for the post. Just before sending the list of shortlisted candidates to the Cabinet Committee, Selection Committee, surprisingly, decided to look for new candidates, in clear violation of rules. Then, keeping the name of 1983-batch Gujarat Cadre officer Ashim Khurana at the top of priority list, the selection committee recommended three names to Cabinet Committee.
Being well over 59 years old, Ashim Khurana was ineligible for the post as he did not even meet the age-specific requirements. Despite this and in violation of all rules & regulations, Mr. Khurana was appointed as the chairman of the Staff Selection Commission. The blatant violation of all laid down rules and procedures expose the surprising eagerness to appoint the Gujarat cadre officer Ashim Khurana as the head of the country’s largest recruitment institution. Prime Minister Modi is accountable to answer why were all the due procedures and protocols laid to rest to appoint Ashim Khurana as the SSC Chairman.
Ashim Khurana was appointed as the SSC Chairman on 22nd December, 2015 and one of the first major decisions he took was to grant the contract of conducting online examinations to Sify Technologies. It is now evidently clear that the scams in SSC are a result of a large scale collusion between SSC officials and Sify employees. The preliminary FIR too substantiates these allegations.
The experience of the last five years has made it clear that not only is the Modi government anti-youth but also incompetent and insensitive when it comes to addressing unemployment in the country. Noted lawyer and anti-corruption crusader Prashant Bhushan has filed a PIL in Delhi High Court for quashing Ashim Khurana’s appointment as SSC Chairman. Anupam said that in a country with such a large youth population, a political party that is anti-youth has no moral authority to remain in power.