In January 2020, the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) published a notification for Group A and B posts. The preliminary exams were conducted on August 24, 2020. The mains were held in February the following year. More than 1.6 lakh appeared for the preliminary exam of which 2,200 qualified for the mains.
On July 25, hundreds of government job aspirants led by social activist and Congress spokesperson Bhavya Narasimhamurthy protested outside the KPSC office regarding the results’ uncertainty of various recruitment exams, some of which were held many months ago.
More than 500 aspirants from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Tumkuru, Kolar, Chikkamagaluru, Hosapete, Raichur and Bidar districts took part in the protest.
Speaking with Siasat.com Kaushik Nayak, a BE graduate in civil engineering who has been applying for a government job since 2019, recalled how KPSC secretary Suralkar Vikas Kishore assured them of swift action.
Soon after the protests, the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) 2017 mains results, which was pending for 17 long months, were out within three days.
To deal with issues related to KPSC, Karnataka State Police, Karnataka Forest Department, and Karnataka Examinations Authority, a platform named the Karnataka State Competitive Examination Authority Association (KSCEAA) was launched.
On August 19, the KSCEAA protested once again in Freedom Park, Bengaluru. Around 2,000 students took part. This time, Bhavya Narasimhamurthy, who was to lead the protest, was taken into preventive custody at around 8:30 AM. However, the protest was a success and Narasimhamurthy was released.
She later tweeted, “I have been detained at University Police Station. They are trying to snatch away my phone… To cut all communications between the students and me. We all need your support.”
Speaking to Siasat.com, Narasimhamurthy said it is high time the BJP-led state government is exposed of its negligence and failure towards its youth. “I have heard heart-wrenching stories which only motivates me to stand by them,” she said.
To put pressure on the government, a Twitter campaign was launched. #ಲಂಚತಗೊಳಿಕೆಲಸಕೊಡಿ” (Take bribe give job) started to trend where it was alleged that the government jobs were sold for money. “Pens, papers and books are our property, let them take them as bribes and give us Govt jobs!” said the trend.
Marking September 17 as National Unemployment Day, which also is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, many videos emerged on the social media platform Twitter where aspirants were shown sending belongings such as pens, papers, books etc. as bribes to the secretary of Vidhana Soudha K R Mahalakshmi sarcastically requesting for a job.
Siasat.com spoke to several aspirants who have tirelessly fought against the system. One of them, Nayak, said that the unruly behaviour of the state government has made many lives miserable.
“KPSC has notified three examinations for my qualification in three years, out of which only one examination has been conducted. The results have still not been declared. Such delays are miserable. We have lost confidence in this government and KPSC,” he said.
Talking about his family, Nayak who lost his father in 2017, told Siasat.com, “My mother stays alone in my hometown. I stay with my brother in Bengaluru while preparing for government jobs. He takes care of me and my mother. Since I have no job, I am unable to support my family.”
In September, protestors met several politicians including the Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah and requested to raise their grievances in the Assembly Session.