Tips to improve functioning of APPSC

Dear Editor,
The article “The APPSC and its reputation” was a timely write-up to wake up the authorities from inertia. But I would like to draw the attention of all concerned to certain areas which might help improve the functioning of such a prestigious statutory body. Surely, the APPSC has certain unforgivable lapses that smack of deficit in diligence, not deliberate though. I believe, the people heading the Commission are respectable and highly responsible ones. They must be putting their best efforts to accomplish the job in a foolproof manner. But I have trepidation that somewhere in the long process of organising a test and with the involvement of a number of functionaries therein, the gaping loopholes are bound to crop up unnoticed if adequate care is not taken by people from top to bottom. It’s really difficult to pinpoint the exact source of lapse. Obviously if things go well, nobody appreciates, but the slightest aberration could bring all to infamy. Hence the people at helm are to blame despite their good intentions.
My observation of the functioning of Govt offices prompts me to make an unpleasant comment that the very thing for which the Public Service Commission exists has turned out to be its nemesis. We have utterly failed to recruit the competent people for different organisations /offices solely with various unjustifiable justifications. Very few people are good enough to man a responsibility in a govt office today. Recently, for instance, some responsible officers have been recruited ignoring the essential qualifications for some dignified posts. We ordinarily attribute the crisis to lack of availability of eligible man power. It’s a general scenario, not the ones recruited by APPSC alone. If we continue to do so, perhaps, the impact is bound to be felt in every sphere. We must whole- heartedly appreciate the bold and progressive idea of Chief Minister, Pema Khandu, entrusting the APPSC with the recruitment of all cadres of Govt . employees right from Teachers in School and upward amidst stiff opposition from various quarters. The noble idea is mooted with the very objective of recruiting human resources of due competence to handle the affairs of development and enable the state to march forward in the 21st century on par with others. To achieve that goal, a thorough self- scanning and brainstorming is imperative.
The author has suggested the role models to avoid the shortcomings in future. But as an insider I am not sure, if the role models are even working up to the level of satisfaction. The only difference is that the stakeholders there do not resist either due to ignorance or because of inherent advantage.
What comes to my mind, plagiarism is not an issue in setting the questions. Even repetition cannot be deemed as a serious lapse. But copy- paste method certainly gives advantage to a section who are already familiar with the known source. Hence the question arises as to who should take care of all these aspects at APPSC. Does APPSC have any appropriate mechanism for vetting? Certainly not. I am sorry to say that no govt officer probably can accomplish this task flawlessly. This is the domain of academics. Ironically, no person from academic background is involved in the organisation for such task barring the concerned subject experts engaged for setting the questions. What, indeed, is important is the post- setting scrutiny. A standing panel of subject experts ought to be engaged within APPSC structure to scrutinise the format, pattern, content, value, scaling, parity etc. A foolproof mechanism has to be put in place immediately if APPSC desires not face further embarrassment. It’s expensive but inevitable. Such jobs cannot be carried out in a short-cut manner, not even economically.
Finally, I appreciate the wisdom of the APPSC in scrapping the tainted test. Let the New Year witness a vibrant body that significantly takes care of the future of the state.
Dr BL Behera,
Associate Professor,
DN Govt College