After showing obstinacy to accept the requests of hundreds of aspiring candidates to give them sufficient time to acquire the newly-added eligibility of DCA for applying for the Secretariat/ PSC assistant post, the Public Service Commission’s sitting held on Monday made a major climbdown by deciding to avoid the DCA and minimum marks for degree, another new criterion for applying for the post.The PSC also decided to issue the notification for the Secretariat / PSC assistants post on July 31 necessitating only the hitherto followed criterion of a minimum degree for applying for the post. ‘Express’ had reported widespread dissatisfaction of hundreds of youths over the PSC decision to issue notification without giving them sufficient time to complete the DCA course. Following memorandums from aspiring candidates, the government had requested the PSC to give sufficient time for the candidates to complete the course as it was on May 26 this year that the government notified the authorised institutes offering the recognized DCA course. Citing that the notification as per the new criterion is being issued for the first time after fixing the neweligibility, the government had also requested PSC to give sufficient time to complete the course.However, the PSC was reluctant to agree to this requests by the P and ARD department. As the Commission rejected the requests repeatedly, the Chief Minister had assured the Assembly last week that candidates would be given the required time to complete the course to acquire the eligibility. Later, the cabinet decided to ask the PSC which has been gloating that as statutory body and it was not bound to accept the requests of the government. But, the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) the other day while dismissing the petition against adding the new eligibility citing that the employer had the right to fix the eligibility for the post, observed that the government has to amend the Special Rules in this regard before making the new eligibility applicable. It is in the background of this observation that PSC on Monday decided to shelve the newly-added eligibility and minimum marks criteria.However, when contacted, PSC Secretary P C Binoy told Express that the PSC decision had nothing do with the observation of the KAT and it was a suo motu decision based on public opinion and media reports. He said now the applicants with a degree in any discipline can apply without having to face the hurdle of marks restriction. Shiju from Kazhakoottam and Vishnu from Attingal, two candidates, told Express that the PSC decision would benefit over 3 lakh degree-holders who had been anxiously waiting for applying for the test which is considered as ‘mini Civil Service exam’. It may be noted that the Secretariat assistants have the prospect of being promoted to the level of Special Secretary and Additional Secretary to the government in the course of their career.