Shimla: Tensions are reaching a boiling point in Himachal Pradesh as the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission (HPSSC) faces mounting criticism for the prolonged delay in releasing the results of various recruitment examinations. The lingering uncertainty has left thousands of candidates on edge, leading to widespread protests across the state capital, Shimla.

At the heart of the growing agitation lies the elusive results for the position of Drawing Master (Post Code-980), which have been withheld since last year. Fed up with the lack of transparency and communication, candidates from different districts converged on the secretariat, demanding immediate action on the long-overdue recruitment examination results. Despite being reassured by the state government on multiple occasions, aspirants now demand tangible outcomes rather than mere assurances, signalling their resolve to escalate protests if their pleas fall on deaf ears.

“We’ve been patient for far too long. Empty promises won’t suffice anymore. We demand concrete results to put an end to this endless wait,” asserted a frustrated candidate from the state.

The recruitment process for Post Code-980 was initiated by the Hamirpur Staff Selection Commission a year ago, offering 314 positions. The application phase commenced in June 2022, followed by a written examination on 8th September of the same year. Initially, results were declared on December 3, with 971 candidates successfully clearing the examination. However, the process was marred by allegations of a paper leak, prompting a vigilance investigation against the Staff Selection Commission.

The candidates vying for the Post Code-980 positions are not the only ones aggrieved. As the protest gained momentum, candidates from various other postcodes joined the chorus, amplifying their calls for the prompt release of results. Among them, the candidates for the Veterinary Pharmacist position (Post Code 958) voiced their discontent, emphasizing that their examination was not under vigilance investigation. As a result, they implore the authorities to expedite the result declaration process.

Despite Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s directives for a speedy resolution of the examination results, the HPSSC’s response has been sluggish, leaving the results of more than three dozen postcodes in limbo. While some postcodes have been cleared through the vigilance investigation, others remain mired in uncertainty.

The state government had previously assured candidates in May that the results of postcodes outside the scope of vigilance investigation would be released within a week. However, the government’s failure to deliver on this promise has fuelled growing unrest among aspirants, prompting intensified protests.

In the wake of the paper leak scandal, some candidates have proposed a conditional appointment process, with the government undertaking a thorough investigation to identify the culprits. These candidates are willing to submit affidavits to attest to their genuine intentions and merit.

As the standoff continues, candidates have resorted to peaceful protests to express their frustration. The onus is now on the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission and the state government to address the grievances of the aspirants promptly. Failure to do so risks exacerbating the agitation and further undermining the credibility of the state’s recruitment procedures.