Arunachal govt suspends IAS officer for APSSB exam irregularities

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Itanagar, March 4: The Arunachal Pradesh government has suspended former secretary and controller of examinations of the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) S K Jain, for alleged gross administrative negligence.
Jain’s suspension came after the APSSB announced the cancellation of its lower division clerk (LDC) and junior secretariat assistant (JSA) examinations over the recent ‘cash for jobs’ fiasco.
Jain, a 2007-batch IAS officer, who was also the secretary of the state’s land management, urban development and town planning departments, was suspended on Tuesday.
A suspension order issued by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar in the name of Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra late on Tuesday said that a disciplinary proceeding is contemplated against Jain and he stands suspended from his post with immediate effect.
The order further stated that Jain, during the suspension period shall be stationed in Itanagar and shall not leave without obtaining the permission of the chief secretary.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who has been furious since the scam came to the fore, has also constituted a high-level enquiry committee comprising principal resident commissioner of Arunachal Bhavan, New Delhi, Jitendra Narain and state PWD and Home commissioner Kaling Tayeng to thoroughly enquire and find out the lapses which resulted in the APSSB fiasco.
The committee has been given the task to examine and find out whether procedures and safeguards were put in place to ensure transparent functioning of the APSSB in consonance with the Act and Rules and for conducting free and fair examination by the board, officials said.
The committee shall also examine and find out whether proper supervision and due diligence was followed to ensure that the APSSB conducted the examination fairly and the steps taken by the board to preserve evidence and present facts accurately, especially after the malpractices were alleged on social media after the declaration of results, an official statement informed here.
Besides, the committee shall also examine and fix the responsibilities for administrative lapses by all the officers involved in the examination process and recommend suitable disciplinary action against the erring officers and officials.
The committee has been asked to submit its report to the chief secretary within 21 days, it said.
The APSSB came under fire after purported optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet went viral on social media, soon after the results of the examination for lower divisional clerk, junior secretariat assistant and other posts were published on its website on February 14.
Following allegations of malpractices, a case under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act was lodged on February 16 with the special investigation cell (SIC) of the state police.
The SIC has so far arrested 5 persons, including APSSB under secretary Kapter Ringu and two data entry operators of the board, in connection the case.
The APSSB on Monday decided to cancel the examination and a new date for the examination would be notified soon. (PTI)