Candidates selected to archaeological officer posts by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) have rubbished the allegation of DMK chief MK Stalin that the commission did not give preference to candidates from the state while making the appointments.
The excavation at Keeladi has prompted the government to fill up vacancies in the archaeological department. The TNPSC had called for applications into vacant posts in November 2019. The exams were conducted on February 2020 while the results were announced in September. The selected candidates were called for counselling on December 29.
Post graduates in archaeology, history and Tamil were eligible for the announced posts. Candidates who studied archaeology are not required to have a post graduate diploma in the discipline, which, however, is mandatory for those who have studied Tamil and History. A total of 48 candidates attended the counselling and 18 were selected.
One of the candidates who was selected said all the selected candidates are Tamils, so it would be wrong to accuse the commission of not giving preference to those from the state.
“All the 48 candidates are born Tamils. They did their graduation in Tamil Nadu and post-graduation in other states. Except engineering and medical courses, all other graduation courses in the state has Tamil as a compulsory subject. So naturally all the candidates know to write, read, speak and understand Tamil. The reservation was also followed as per rules. Hence the allegation of Stalin that the non-Tamil candidates are selected to the posts is wrong,” the candidate said.
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The claim that candidates who studied archaeology in Tamil Nadu were rejected was also wrong, he added.
“The PG Diploma in archaeology can be either received from the Institute of Epigraphy run by state archaeology department or the Centre’s Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). So a candidate who did his or her graduation or post-graduation in History or Tamil, could have done the PG Diploma programme either in the state or in the institute run by ASI,” said another candidate.
Former epigraphist of state archaeology department S Ramachandran said Stalin probably thought that selected candidates who have a PG Diploma from ASI don’t know how to decipher epigraphs in Tamil, as the ASI is a central government body. “But there is no base in the allegation,” he added.
“Firstly, a state archaeology department cannot appoint candidates who don’t know the language of the region. Secondly, the language and script are different. All Indian languages are formed basically from the Brahmi script. Both in the state-run institute and that run by the ASI, they teach how to decipher the scripts. So an epigraphist can understand the scriptures and know whether it is in Tamil or any other language. If the scriptures are in other languages, they seek the help of concerned language specialists. Thirdly, in Tamil Nadu about 85 per cent of scriptures are in Tamil,” he said.
The perception that through appointing archaeologists from other states, the state and Centre governments are trying to hide the archaeological evidences in Tamil Nadu is utter nonsense, added Ramachandran.
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Apart from all these things, if a candidate has not been selected despite scoring good marks then there is a chance that the candidate may not have submitted any of the relevant documents such as educational qualifications, community and Persons Studied in Tamil Medium (PSTM) certificates, a candidate said.
Refuting Stalin’s allegations, TNPSC on December 31 has issued a statement saying that it has not violated any rules.