The APPSC and its reputation

[ Tongam Rina ]
The Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) has once again lived up to its reputation of being a professional bungler. The Commission since its constitution in 1988 has a history of committing blunders after blunders; the lost court cases are a testimony. Not one exam has gone off smoothly since its inception, right from allegation of nepotism, bribery and now, mass copying of questions from websites.
Arunachal’s wonderful winter make one lazy and dreamy but there is a limit to laziness!
The question setters copy-pasted and in all likelihood, the commission did not vet it resulting in the current chaos. Understood that the Commission has severe crunch when it comes to human resources but it certainly should not be the reason for such blunders like copy-pasting when we live in an age when there are softwares that detect all sorts of plagiarism, right from text messages to research documents.
Learning from the current experience, the Commission needs to make a transition from their 20th century slumber and get outfitted for the 21st. As of now, it appears that last resort of the Commission is plagiarism which is a crime and therefore unacceptable.
The Commission seriously needs to introspect and figure out a way. It cannot and should not continue to play with the careers of young civil service aspirants. It is often very difficult to learn from past mistakes but when it involves the very future bureaucrats of the state, some of who will take governance where it rarely reaches, the Commission need to be responsible as well as updated on issues of plagiarism. Perhaps, the first step is to train itself on how to make use of basics of technology which includes tracking plagiarism. It is advisable that the Commission make an effort to learn from more progressive Commissions across the nation, including the hallowed Union Public Service Commission. If it does not have the resources to go out for training, it certainly could use the expertise of Rajiv Gandhi University and North East Institute of Regional Technology, barely 20 kilometres from the office of the Commission to check plagiarism. These institutions have technology in place to detect plagiarism.
It is a tragedy that the Commission headed by two officers- Tajom Taloh and Onit Panyang known for their impeccable honesty, a rarity in the state’s administration has to deal with issues of avoidable plagiarism.
After repeated mistakes over and over again since its establishment, this is really a proverbial last chance for the Commission to reinvent itself. Arunachal will wait and watch as the Commission starts the process of recruiting officers to take the administration closer to the citizens. Enough damage has already been inflicted on the very institution as well as the aspirants. Though it is the easiest thing to do, hopefully, there is no copy-pasting of questions and admitting candidates who are not Indian citizens. Deal technical issues with technology. It’s as easy and doable as that.