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Bank aspirants' fate hangs in balance

RANCHI: Thousands of candidates who clearedprobationary officers' examination 2011, conducted by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), are now spending sleepless nights awaiting interview calls and appointments. After a gap of around two decades when the banks decided to go for bulk appointment of clerks and officers, the need to simplify the process of selection was felt and thus came IBPS that conducts centralized examination for appointments in the public sector banks.
IBPS conducted exam for first batch in September 2011, results of which were declared in December the same year. Of the14 lakh examinees, 1.11 lakh cleared the written exam. All of them are now eligible to appear for interview as and when conducted by the 19 nationalized banks that agreed to take candidates via the IBPS selection programme. Every bank has its own eligibility criteria in terms of score, age limit and standards.
The convener of state level bankers committee (SLBC) Allahabad Bank which has been made the nodal bank for conducting IBPS examination in Jharkhand absorbed 1,600 candidates as per their vacancies. Chief manager of Allahabad Bank (zonal branch) Anil Kumar said the bank invited candidates who scored 125 marks and above for the interview.
The problem arose owing to the preferential selection of banks by the candidates. The top scorers have been invited for interview by all the banks and large number of candidates has been selected by more than one bank. One of the candidates, on condition of anonymity, said, the top scorers are blocking the seats in more than one bank because there is no provision for removal of their names from the merit list once they are selected. "The top 3,000 candidates would fill up the vacancies in almost every bank and unless each one of them finalizes the appointment, the second grade candidates like us would remain unemployed," he argued.
Another successful candidate said seven months have passed since their results were declared and they were yet to get an interview call. "Our score is valid for one year and if we are not absorbed this year we have to reappear for the examination next year," he said. He also complained that every bank charges them Rs 200 for filling up interview forms. "Examination for fresh batch has been recently conducted and a new lot of potential POs would be in the market soon making our competition even tougher," he said.
Ruling out apprehensions, Kumar said that the candidates can improve their score by reappearing in a fresh IBPS examination and the banks have an internal system of maintaining a waiting list. "The top scorers cannot block seats for long because once they are appointed by a bank the other bank would treat their seat as vacant and allow those below in the merit list to appear for interview," he said. Kumar, however, could not give any deadline saying that appointments depend on individual banks.

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