ONGC's trainee scheme encourages corruption

Vol 21, PW 17 (31 May 18) People & Policy

Baroda-based ONGC union boss KC Hari Kumar has lashed out at ONGC management, accusing it of altering the selection criteria for graduate trainees in geosciences and engineering to encourage bribery.

Thousands applied by May 5 for 1032 graduate vacancies at ONGC. Three days later Hari Kumar, president of the ONGC Officers Association, a recognised ONGC union, wrote to oil secretary KD Tripathi to complain that too much importance has been given in the selection process to interviews, making it likely candidates will try to bribe or influence the selection panel to win jobs.

Kumar explains that only 15 of 100 marks are given for the interviews but that candidates must score a minimum 9/15 to be eligible for selection. This means that if they score any less than nine marks during the interviews it doesn't matter at all how well they do on the written exam or Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for which 60 marks are given, or whether they have a basic qualification like a degree for which 20 marks are given, or whether they have a PhD worth five marks.

Kumar describes this top-heavy emphasis on the interviews as a "ploy to drive insecurity in the minds of even the best candidates and to induce them to seek out agents acting on behalf of the people controlling the non-transparent interview boards."

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