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SSC TOUCHING NEW MILESTONES

Ravinder Singh*


The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms constituted a Commission called the Subordinate Services Commission on 4th November, 1975 which was subsequently re-designated as Staff Selection Commission effective from the 26th September, 1977. The functions of the Staff Selection Commission have been enlarged from time to time and now it carries out the recruitment also to all Group ‘B’ posts in the pay scale of Rs 9300 to 34800 with a grade pay of Rs 4200.
The Staff Selection Commission is an attached office of the Department of Personnel and Training and comprises of Chairman, two Members and a Secretary-cum-Controller of Examinations who are appointed on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government from time to time. The Commission has nine regional offices across the country.
Mandat

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has been mandated with recruitment of Group ‘C’ non-technical and Group ‘B’ non-gazetted posts in various Ministries/Departments of Government and their Attached and Subordinate Offices except those for which recruitment is made by the Railway Recruitment Boards and Industrial Establishments. The Commission has Impartiality, Objectivity and Suitability as its motto and has been living upto it all through the years.
 

Nationwide Network
The Staff Selection Commission has a nationwide network of nine Regional/Sub-Regional Offices. Seven Regional Offices are located at Allahabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi and two Sub-Regional Offices at Chandigarh and Raipur. The Regional/Sub-Regional Offices implement the policies and programmes of the Staff Selection Commission which include holding of Examinations at various centres of the country with the help of the State Government Authorities and conducting interviews of candidates in Regions. A proposal to upgrade the Sub-Regional Offices at Chandigarh and Raipur is under the consideration of the Government.

Touching New Marks
The number of applications in the Commission’s recruitments and finally successful has increased manifold in the past 3-4 years. The Commission handled 61.78 lakh applications in 2010-11 compared to 19.64 lakh in 2009-10 and 10.27 lakh in 2008-09. In 2011-12 it had received 91.00 lakh applications as on 22nd March, 2012. The number of candidates selected by it went upto 70356 in 2011-12 (as on 22nd March, 2012) compared to 23658, 10576 and 6304 in 2010-11, 2009-10 and 2008-09 respectively. The number of candidates selected in 2011-12 is expected to exceed 80,000 as some examination results are in the final stage of processing.
In order to deal with the huge numbers, the Commission has mooted a proposal for single Common Screening Test for different levels. The aim is to limit the ratio of second stage applications to vacancies. Presently this ratio is 260:1. Despite the large volume, the time taken by SSC to complete recruitment process is 12-13 months, compared to European nations’ 18-20 months.

Introduction of E-initiatives
The Commission maintains ten websites - nine at regional offices and one independent site at headquarters. The websites are continuously updated with the objective of making them as the most important source of information. The revamped and user-friendly website of the Commission launched in October, 2009 has attracted a viewership of 2.20 crore so far and has emerged as one of the largest viewed websites in the Government sector.
It places marks of the candidates at each stage of the examination and answer keys of objective type examinations on the website, inviting objections, consideration of objection of the candidates with the assistance of experts and initiating corrective measures. All results and marks are placed on the website in PDF format, results on the same day of finalization and marks immediately thereafter. The Commission has also introduced Administration of skill tests on computer with no cost to the candidates and introduction of Computer Proficiency Test for certain posts.
It is estimated that almost 75% of candidates selected by the Commission in 2010-11 have proficiency or working knowledge of computers.

On-line application submission
The Commission introduced online applications since February, 2010 for the benefit of the candidates. It is estimated that each candidate registering online saves Rs.25 in postal and other costs and the Commission’s precious time as application processing is not required and data entry cost of Rs. 4 to 5 per application. This has helped in reducing the duration of recruitment cycle too. Approximately 35 lakh applicants have registered online since its introduction and the percentage of online registration has been showing steady increase and touched 50% or above in recent examinations.

Other Major initiatives
The following major initiatives have been taken by the Commission in the last three years:-

  • Restructuring of all examinations and regrouping of posts based on the recommendations of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission and an Expert Group constituted with the approval of the Government.

  • Introduction of measures in the HQ of the Commission for ensuring Zero error tolerance in vital confidential work.

  • Introduction of Quality Management Systems in Regional Offices with a view to effect continual improvement in the processes and to improve customer satisfaction levels. All nine Regional Offices of the Commission have obtained ISO 9001:2008 Certification for their Quality Management System. Western Regional Office at Mumbai is the last region to obtain the certification in March, 2012.
    Regular Updation of Question Ban

Examination restructuring and updation of syllabi require a well stocked and continuously replenished Question Bank of objective type question items. Therefore, the Commission has held 11 Question Bank Workshops so far. The latest Workshop for Question Bank on Statistics was recently held in Delhi this month, which was inaugurated by Shri V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and in the PMO. The next is scheduled in Chennai in the second quarter of 2012. Through the Workshops held so far, the Commission has added about 40,000 pre-validated objective type questions to its well stocked Question Bank in several subjects.

Dependable Credentials
The credibility and improved efficiency of the Commission have been appreciated by its client organizations and candidates population as evidenced by the growing popularity of its recruitments. Ministry of Home Affairs has been utilizing the services of the Commission in recent years for recruiting Intelligence Officers, Sub-Inspectors, Assistant Sub-Inspectors (for CISF), Constables (GD)/Riflemen/Sepoy, etc. in the Central Armed Police Forces and A&N Administration. The Commission is also assisting the Food Corporation of India this in recruitment to lower middle levels. In view of the experience of SSC and its dependable credentials, a proposal of Ministry of Home Affairs to utilize the services of the Commission for recruitment of Sub-Inspector in Delhi Police has been accepted in principle. A proposal to entrust recruitment of autonomous / statutory bodies to the Commission has also been under consideration of the Commission.
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*Director (M&C), PIB, New Delhi.
SS-57/SF-57/30-03-2012
RTS/HSN

PIB Aizawl

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