APPSCCE aspirants demand fresh exams

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Nov 28: Aspirants who appeared for the APPSC’s preliminary examinations on November 26 last are demanding that the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive Examinations (APPSCCE) be conducted afresh, and that the scaling process – in line with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) – be introduced in all the subjects to upkeep the ‘legitimacy of the examinations’.
Scores of aspirants marched to the APPSC office here on Tuesday to place their grievances, and cited multiple lapses in the General Studies and the optional question papers.
Speaking to this daily, candidates Tumyir Badak and Mago Tago said that over half of the questions in the Public Administration paper had questions from, which is a resource website for the CSS competitive examination and contains information about the Pakistan Civil Services.
In a representation to the Secretary of the APPSC, the aspirants highlighted that the questions were copied ‘line to line, option to option and even the sequence did not change.’
They claimed that the website-based questions were more on the lines of management, while the syllabus of the APPSC is primarily an administrative one.
Sociology candidates told this daily that they were highly disappointed by the quality of the question paper.
On scrutiny, the candidates found that over 80 per cent of the questions were copied from an article published on the website by an unfamiliar writer, one Shelly Shah.
The candidates said that the website is a general discussion site and cannot be a reliable source to extract questions from for a prestigious state level examination.
About seven questions were also copied in sequence from the BA III year, Semester V question paper of the Maulana Azad College, Aurangabad, they said.
Informing that all the questions were from Unit-I, with the rest of the nine units completely left out, the candidates ridiculed the process of providing a syllabus to the aspirants in the first place.
Several others claimed sarcastically that, since the Commission could not indulge in leaking papers like the last time, it resorted to leaking websites which carried the questions.
The candidates also questioned whether it was a deliberate attempt to promote one subject over the others, and expressed resentment that the Geography paper was a cakewalk. (This was confirmed by those who appeared for the subject.)
“It’s not a matter of how easy or tough the papers were; but if one particular subject was extremely easy, then there is a probability that the cut-off would be high and deprive almost all other subjects’ candidates from reaching the cut-off percentage,” said a History candidate.
Another candidate said that they have no issues against candidates who appeared for the Geography paper, since they had no hand in setting the question paper. They, however, strongly resented that the Commission created such disparity, and said that it was unfair to the non-Geography candidates.
Reportedly, the question papers did not come sealed, and the question booklet numbers were also manually taped to the question papers, which raised doubts.
The candidates also said that the papers contained several clerical and typographical errors. Some questions had the same answers to be selected from the options, while a few questions had no right answer to be selected, they said.
‘This is gross injustice and violation of our fundamental right to equality of opportunity and against natural justice too,’ the representation read.
Demanding that the cut-off percentage be reduced because a large chunk of the selected candidates would be from those who appeared for the Geography paper, the upset candidates said they want the scaling process so that each subject’s candidate could be given a fair opportunity.
‘Let the real competition be held in the Mains examinations,’ said the candidates, demanding that the Commission investigate the matter at the earliest.
On being contacted, APPSC Secretary Onit Panyang said that the Commission has received a few complaints and is open to receive others, if any. He said that the issues would be placed before the Commission and will be examined at the earliest.
The Commission had earlier come under fire for allegedly qualifying four Chakma candidates to appear in the preliminary examinations.
The alleged discrepancies in the question papers of the preliminary examinations, held statewide on November 26 last, has now become a bone of contention.