The state general administration department has issued an order in this regard, which will soon be published in the Odisha gazette. The provisions of the OCS, Combined Competitive Recruitment Examination (CCRE), Rules, 1991 will be amended accordingly.
The state government’s move followed after several aspirants had failed to appear the OCSE, 2019, preliminary examination of which was held on March 15, 2020.
“Demands to allow additional chances to appear in the OCSE, 2020 have been received by the state government from some OSCE aspirants,” said Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary, GA department, in the order.
Official sources said of total 44,636 candidates applied for the OCSE, 2019, only 25,780 candidates appeared the preliminary examinations, amounting to 57 per cent.
“As the state government had declared Covid-19 a state disaster on March 13, many meritorious students from the rural areas could not appear the preliminary examinations on March 15. Those who appeared were not in sound mind because of the Covid-19 fear,” said Kalpataru Biswal, an aspirant.
Biswal said those who qualified the preliminary examination, could not prepare well for the main examination because of Covid-related lockdown and shutdown as libraries, colleges, universities and coaching institutes were closed.
“Though we had urged the state government to allow two more compensatory attempts to the aggrieved candidates to compete in OCSEs- 2020 and 2021, the state government has allowed one attempt. We welcomed the decision,” said Bijay Kumar Lenka, another aspirant.
As the Odisha Public Service Commission is likely to issue advertisement for the Odisha Civil Services, (CCRE), 2020 soon, the aspirants had recently given memorandum to chief minister Naveen Patnaik, chief secretary Asit Tripathy, OPSC authorities and several ministers.
As the upper age limit to appear the OCS (CCRE) in Odisha for unreserved candidates has been fixed at 32 years, the aspirants have also appealed the state government to increase the upper age limit to 42 years as has been done by many states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana.