Many claims have been made that the introduction of new pattern for APPSCCE would benefit the students from Science background. I however would like to disagree.
1. Candidates should not forget that Paper II (CSAT) is only of qualifying nature i.e. its score will not be considered for selection of candidates for Mains Exam. Only a passing score of 33% would get you through. Now, in case many are not aware, CSAT includes:-
a. English Language comprehension skill(Class X level)
b. Basic Numerical and data interpretation (Class X level)
c. Decision making
d. General Mental Ability
e. Logical reasoning and Analytical skill
f. Interpersonal Communication skill
Looking at the syllabus, it doesn’t seem to be favoring any stream.
2. The main Paper of which score would be considered is the General Studies Paper 1, which mainly consists of Geography, History, Polity, Economics and General Knowledge with Current Affairs. Here all the core subjects are of Arts stream. And if you ask me, I think in this exam Arts students are in a more advantageous position because most of them would have studied atleast one of these subjects during their 3 years Bachelors course.
The exam has always been pro-Arts stream, so even a little bit of numerical make it seem like it is favoring Science students. How would you like it if it had Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology in equal proportion in Paper I? That would actually be equality in true sense. But we don’t want Science experts in Administration because it makes little sense, so the GS-Paper 1 is as it is – Pro-Arts. The nature of job demands person with certain ability and so was the exam syllabus designed in certain way.
However, in today’s world we need Officers with sound mental ability, decision making capacity and proper English language comprehension skill. So what is so wrong with CSAT? I stress, it is only of qualifying nature! It has nothing to do with whether Engineering students have more job opportunities or not. It is about having the best brains to work in the most core setup among the government’s functionaries. What is wrong in expecting our to-be-Officers to pass basic metal ability test?
3. Everyone wanted parity after the recent fiasco and our very cooperative and understanding Commission took note and immediately took swift remedial action to bring everyone to a level playing ground. That is applaud-able but why do we still have people opposing? And if we go with previous pattern of Optional Paper, equality will never prevail because any form of scaling or moderation will never be able to convince the candidates that some Optional were not easier than the others. The debates and arguments would continue.
Lastly, for those who are calling for UPSC pattern to be implemented from next Exam session, it seems they agree that it is the right way to go however they don’t want to face it for themselves and leave it for the next batch of students. Aren’t they being selfish? If they studied for Optional, everybody studied for Optional. So we are all in the same boat. The only genuine demand is to ask for some time to have a look at CSAT papers.
And for the Commission, I will sign off with the famous line from Kabir’s Doha –
Kal kare so aaj kar, Aaj kare so ab;
Pal mein pralaya hoyegi, Bahuri karoge kab.
Reri C. Dulom