MPs’ panel proposes legal status for SSC

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Mains Paper 2: Indian Polity | Statutory, regulatory & various quasi-judicial bodies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: SSC, UPSC

Mains level: Various recruitment agencies and their mandates


News

Statutory Status for SSC

  1. A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) has recommended that the Centre accord statutory status to the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), one of the largest recruitment agencies in the country.
  2. The UPSC and all State PSCs either have constitutional or legal status.
  3. The SSC is the only such organisation that performs similar functions on a much larger scale, but does not enjoy statutory status.

Why such demand?

  1. The SSC was created to ease the burden of the UPSC by taking over the recruitment for posts below the Group ‘A’ level.
  2. There has been a phenomenal increase in the workload of the SSC, from 9.94 lakh candidates in 2008-09 to over 2 crore in 2016-17.
  3. While the workload and responsibilities of the SSC have increased exponentially over the years, it has remained an “attached body” under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

What Statutory status implies for SSC?

  1. SSC has to depend entirely on the government for all its needs, with no autonomy.
  2. Statutory status to the SSC would contribute to greater functional autonomy, faster decision-making and efficiency in the overall performance and delivery of results by the SSC in the recruitment process.

Present Scenario

  1. At present, the SSC has sanctioned staff strength of 481 officers but is functioning with 75% of its sanctioned strength.
  2. The SSC would be conducting the Common Eligibility Test at three levels — Matriculation, Higher Secondary and Graduation.
  3. This would attract around 5 crore candidates, making it the largest examination in the world.
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