APPSC faced with possible legal action

[ Nellie Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Aug 25: The Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) might soon face legal action by commerce candidates who appeared for the preliminaries of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive Examination (APPSCCE) on 29 July.
The commerce candidates claimed that they approached the commission multiple times but are yet to come to a viable solution to the current circumstances, which they said has left them with no other option but to approach the high court here.
At least 1,030 commerce candidates had applied for the examination; out of these, three candidates have qualified for the mains.
Notably, one of the three candidates was also one of the first to raise the issue of 64 questions being out of the syllabus, and had placed a complaint along with others a day after the preliminaries were held.
Speaking to this daily, the aggrieved candidates said they have met with the APPSC members several times and sought either compensatory marks for out-of-syllabus questions or fresh preliminary examination for the commerce paper only.
To validate their claims, the students approached the heads of the commerce departments of Rajiv Gandhi University, Rono Hills, and Indira Gandhi Government College, Tezu, who have given their observations in writing.
From the RGU, Prof Dr Otem Padung observed that “more than 78 questions have been asked not from the syllabus prescribed for APPSCCE prelims in the paper commerce.”
Dr Padung also noted that moderation of the questions were not done and “100 percent questions in the commerce paper for APPSCCE (Prelims) July 2018 has been set from the syllabus prescribed for mains.
“Candidates who have opted commerce in the APPSCCE prelims have been deprived… Such state of affairs not only discourages the commerce aspirants but may also discourage the commerce education in the state of Arunachal Pradesh,” he observed.
Dr KR Babu of IGG College also “found that very few questions were from the prescribed syllabus for prelims and a large number of questions were from the syllabus prescribed for mains in violation of the norms.”
The candidates said they also checked and found that 103 of the 125 questions were completely from the mains syllabus.
“All 125 questions were from the mains, but the remaining 22 questions overlapped with the prelims syllabus, so we have not categorized them as coming exclusively under the mains syllabus,” one candidate said.
On three separate occasions, the candidates had also sought information through RTI application on the cut-off marks, the actual number of compensatory marks given to them, and the OMR sheets of general studies and optional paper.
However, according to the prescribed rules, they cannot retrieve any information through the RTI till the recruitment process is over.
Meanwhile, APPSC Secretary Taru Talo said “re-examination is not possible.”
He said the commission has received the complaints of the candidates, along with the observations made by the commerce professors, and “found them to be vague.
“We have consulted our own experts and only then come to the decision of declaring the results. We have also corrected our errors where it was necessary, such as granting compensatory marks and re-evaluating the geography Series-C paper, but the other complaints do not hold merit,” he said.
On the matter of legal action against the commission, Talo said though the commission took care to avoid any form of injustice to the candidates and considered all their grievances, the commission cannot stop anyone from taking a legal recourse and would see to it as and when it comes to them.
The first preliminaries of the APPSCCE were held on 26 November, 2017. Following complaints of anomalies, the second preliminaries were held on 29 July, 2018, and the results were declared on 2 August. However, the geography Series-C candidates cited anomalies in the answer key, and a second list of additional 76 qualifying candidates was issued on 16 August.