BHUBANESWAR: Reservation often helps people climb career ladder. Ironically, an Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) aspirant, who qualified for the job under unreserved category as per the mark he scored, was rejected because he had ‘opted’ for reservation under physical disability category due to his visual impairment.
Anushrav Gantayat (24) of Borigumma in Koraput district was allegedly singled out by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) even as a resolution issued by Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SSEPD) Department clearly states that persons with disability selected on their merit without relaxed standards, shall not be considered for the reserved share of vacancies.
With 40 per cent (pc) visual impairment, Anushrav had applied for the Odisha Civil Service Examination-2017 under the reserved category. After clearing the preliminary examination, he appeared at the main examination and personality test followed by certificate verification. But to his utter surprise, his candidature was on the ground that he does not come under the category of above 40 pc disability.
Anushrav alleged that he has been suffering for ‘wrong interpretation’ of words by the SSEPD Department in a resolution issued on September 5, 2017. As per Section 2 (r) of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016, persons with benchmark disability means a person with not less than 40 pc of a specified disability. But, the department had wrongly mentioned it above 40 pc in its resolution.
“Though it was corrected in a corrigendum issued on July 16 last year by the Department, the OPSC is in no mood to accept. Independent letter from the Secretaries of SSEPD and General Administration departments to the OPSC Secretary clarifying the matter and to consider my candidature too has fallen in deaf ear,” he said.
If, as per OPSC, he is not fulfilling the criteria for reserved category, a dejected Anushrav said the Commission can consider his application under unreserved category as he has not availed any relaxation entitled to a PwD for the exam.“I have scored 1365 mark out of 2250. With the mark, I could have secured 18th rank in the merit list as the last selection of unreserved candidate was 1302. But the OPSC is not considering it. The resolution that the Commission is citing for reservation clause also states a PwD not availing relaxed entitlements can be selected under unreserved category. But in my case, it has also been overlooked,” he alleged.