It is said when life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it. But what do we do when we expect lemons but are given stones. This is what happened yesterday, the 29th of July 2018; the day the state civil services preliminary examination took place.
The notification of the examination is followed by issuing of prospectus with details of the examination, marking scheme and of course the most important one being the syllabus. The importance of this section- “syllabus” cannot be overstated. It’s the gold standard. It’s what we as aspirants follow. It’s what we believe is going to influence the setting of papers. Its what influences our preparation, taking into account the fact that anything and everything can be asked within the ambit of the so called “syllabus”. But then, on the day of the examination, whether it’s our bad luck, or the incompetence and lethargic attitude of the commission who probably did not feel it necessary to have a look at the syllabus, we are handed over a question paper with over 50 percent of the questions being out of syllabus.
This is with regard to my optional subject “commerce”. Questions span the boundaries of Labour laws, Financial management, cost accounting, nowhere to be seen in the syllabus. If the desire of the commission was to catch us off guard, they very rightly did so. But please, catch us off guard within what you “the commission ” has made us go through with the syllabus.
I am not requesting for a re-examination. Also, considering only a handful of aspirants have taken up commerce as optional our voices would be lost in thin air. The state civil services examinations have always been running behind schedule and a reschedule is probably the last thing anyone would want, again.
We as serious aspirants put in a lot of effort and time in preparing for this examination. Sticking on to this old pattern of having an optional in the preliminary stage, while almost the rest of the nation has shifted to the UPSC pattern, has not been able to do genuine justice to us aspirants.
It is disheartening that the commission has not even weighed the option of qualifying aspirants to mains stage in proportion to the number of aspirants appearing in each optional subject.
As a serious aspirant, and representing the commerce optional brethren, I would be deeply obliged if you could help communicating this message to the commission. It would give us much solace, if the commission is able to go through our paper for once, complementing the check with the syllabus, and decide for itself, if this was incompetence, or outright injustice.
Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised if not a single commerce aspirant makes it through to mains. The commission shouldn’t be surprised either, considering the commerce paper they delighted us with.