Gopal Krishna Ronanki IAS
The 2016 UPSC civil services results saw a farmer’s son from Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, Gopalakrishna Ronanki bag the third rank. A schoolteacher by profession, Ronanki took the UPSC exam in Telugu medium. For Ronanki though, the elation over his success was marred by some confusion over a PIL filed against him by advocate Murali Krishna. Krishna alleged in the PIL that Ronanki’s physically disabled status was fake. Following this, the Hyderabad High Court had issued a notice to the topper.
The petitioner in the PIL said that Ronanki had obtained 91.34 marks in the UPSC prelims exam while the cut-off for the OBC category to which Ronanki belonged was 110.66 marks. The cut-off for the PH reserved category was 75.34 marks. Thus, the petitioner alleged that Ronanki got through the prelims because of the PH certificate. In addition, orthopedically challenged candidates with more than 40% disability get an hour extra to write the mains exams. This certificate was fake, Murali Krishna claimed.
This claim is challenged by Ronanki and his family. His brother Kodanda Rao told a newspaper that Gopalakrishna Ronanki had suffered a serious injury to his right hand in 2002 when he was in the tenth standard, falling from a tree. This injury left him unable to write continuously for more than half an hour. The family had approached medical authorities who had issued a 59% disability certificate for Ronanki. He even said that Ronanki always wore full-sleeved shirts to hide his injury. Also, Ronanki went through the physical examination after the UPSC interview, which would have proved any wrong-doing, said Kodanda Rao. He was also not worried about the case as they had right on their side, he said, adding that a counter affidavit would be filed in three weeks.
Ronanki has said since then that he had applied for every exam in the PH category and that his certificate was indeed genuine. He said, “I trust the judiciary and I will surely prove that all these are just allegations against me.”
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