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CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced reduction in examination fee for all the Punjab Public Service Commission exams for general and SC/ST categories.

He also announced complete waiver for candidates from the economically weaker sections (EWS) and persons with disabilities (PWD) categories appearing for these exams.

Application charges, however, remain unchanged, an official statement said.

Candidates applying for posts requisitioned by more than one department will also now have to pay only a single exam fee, according to the directions of the chief minister.

However, application fee of Rs 500 remains the same for all competitive and job recruitment exams conducted by the PPSC.

The waiver/reduction for various categories has come into immediate effect with the PPSC ordering the same, and the Department of Personnel also issuing the necessary notification, in response to the chief minister’s directive, according to the statement.

“Under the revised slabs, the fee has been slashed from the present Rs 2,500 to Rs 1,000 for the general categories, substantially reduced for Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribes (ST), and completely eliminated for the EWS and PWD categories, thus providing significant relief to candidates from weaker sections in particular,” it said.

For the SC/ST categories from all the states and the Other Backward Class (OBC) candidates from Punjab, the PPSC has reduced their examination fee from Rs 650 to Rs 250.

The PPSC is in the process of making recruitments to a large number of posts in various departments.

Giving details on the single exam fee orders, the statement said candidates earlier had to pay separate exam fee for each department in case of common posts requisitioned by them.

“However, now the PPSC is going in for common exam for posts like SDO and Junior Engineer (JE), and the new fee structure will require the candidate to pay a single exam fee for these posts in all requisitioning departments.

“Thus, for a candidate appearing for the post of Sub-Divisional Engineer (SDE) requisitioned by 17 different departments, the exam fee was previously charged 17 times, but now a single exam fee will be charged. Only the application fee will continue to be charged department-wise,” it said.