#SSC: Centre orders CBI inquiry, but why are students still protesting?

The direction comes after SSC agreed to request the government to conduct a probe into allegations of leaked question papers.

WrittenBy:Sahla Nechiyil
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With the protest against the alleged Staff Selection Commission (SSC) scam crossing six days, the Centre on Monday ordered a CBI inquiry into all the allegations raised by students regarding the Combined Graduate Level (SSC CGL 2017) paper held from February 17 to 21.

“We have accepted the demands of protesting candidates and given orders for a CBI inquiry; the protest should stop now,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.

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Singh’s statement came after the SSC said on Sunday that it will ask the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to request the government to initiate a CBI inquiry into the conduct of CGL [Tier-II] examination 2017.

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Students are, however, continuing their protest, saying they need the order in writing. They also want an inquiry into all the examinations that took place after 2013.

“This is not the first time that such a protest is happening against the inefficiencies, malpractices and corruption that plagues the SSC board. It’s just that the previous protests were suppressed by the officials. We will not back off this time,” said one of the protesters. The agitation clearly is the culmination of years of anger.

“We also want the SSC to put a stay on the ongoing examination. Since there has been a leakage, what’s the point of conducting it?” asked one of the students.

Another demand is time-bound conduct of the examination. The Tier-II examination was originally set for November 11, 2017.  It was delayed for more than three months, before finally being conducted in February – only to be cancelled and rescheduled for March 9.

Although the SSC had initially rejected the demand for a CBI probe, the consistent struggle of students and support from politicians and social activists mounted pressure.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was the first to extend his support to the agitation. BJP MPs Manoj Tiwari and Meenakshi Lekhi visited and interacted with the students on Saturday. Gandhian Anna Hazare came on Sunday and extended solidarity with the students, while Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has been vehemently tweeting, questioning the Centre’s silence on an issue that will affect the future of thousands of students.

The Congress called it another Vyapam Scam, which took place in 2013 in Madhya Pradesh and involved politicians, senior officials and businessmen employing imposters to write papers, manipulating the exam hall seating arrangement and supplying forged answer-sheets by bribing officials.

Students are, however, alert to getting divided on political and communal lines. “We thank all party leaders for their support. But this is a students’ struggle and will remain so,” one of the students told Newslaundry.

Kavitha Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association, lauded the fact that “the struggling youth are aware of the jaded tactic of trying to divide people on communal lines”.

She pointed out: “The government has something to hide and someone to protect. They are somehow trying to manage things, so that a thorough inquiry can be avoided. Otherwise why so much delay in ordering a probe?”


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