Re-conducting prelims out of question: APPSC

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]

ITANAGAR, Sep 25: Following the directive from the Itanagar permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court, the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) issued its speaking order on 25 September, saying that “there is no further requirement for any compensation, and re-conduct of preliminary examination is out of question.”
Disposing of the writ petition of the commerce candidates on Tuesday, the commission said it had gone into the details of all the grievances placed and also their (commerce candidates’) points for redress, “and does not find any merit for any further steps to be taken on the second representation of 20-21 August, 2018, made by 71 commerce candidates.”
In the matter of the grievance regarding out-of-syllabus questions, the APPSC in response to the first complaint letter (received from the commerce aspirants on 30 July, 2018) said it has sought clarification from the panel of experts against all questions, including the 64 questions, “whereas the complaint letter received on 20-21 August, 2018, has claimed of about 104 questions being out-of-syllabus.
“After getting report from the subject expert appointed by the commission, adequate compensation was already awarded to all the aggrieved commerce candidates for questions which were found to be out of syllabus as reported by the expert opinion. Thus, the commission has already redressed the claim of aggrieved commerce candidates,” the APPSC reasoned in its speaking order.
As to the grievance regarding the standard of the syllabus, the commission said it is of the view that “most of the questions were from the prescribed syllabus only. For questions which were out of syllabus, the commission has already compensated to the aggrieved candidates as mentioned.”
On the grievance regarding the low pass percentage (0.29) of the commerce candidates, the commission said there are other subjects, such as chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, statistics, etc, where the pass percentage is zero.
“The pass percentage depends upon the quality and preparedness of candidates for which the Commission cannot be blamed,” it said.
On the issue of correction of the geography optional paper of the ‘C’ series, the APPSC clarified that “the issue is completely different from the issue raised by the petitioner commerce candidates.
“Addressing the technical/machine error in respect of ‘C’ series of geography optional paper, the technical experts have verified and checked all other optional papers including commerce optional paper to find out if there is any similar error but found none. Accordingly they (technical experts) have certified that they verified all other papers and found correct,” the commission said.
Regarding certificates furnished by RGU Commerce HoD Dr Otem Padung and IGGC (Tezu) Commerce HoD Dr K Rajendra Babu, the commission said, “Their certificates are devoid of merit as they are neither in the empanelled list of subject experts maintained by the commission nor have their opinions been sought for by any competent authority.”
The APPSC also clarified that it had already referred the complaints to a committee of subject experts and cannot keep on constituting committees of subject expert innumerable times “as and when any unsuccessful candidate demands for it.
“The aggrieved candidates should have submitted their detailed grievances before declaration of result and not after a gap of nearly three weeks,” it said.
The candidates had also prayed to allow aspiring commerce candidates to appear for the mains examination till the grievances are redressed. However, the commission said since their grievances have been addressed, allowing all aspiring commerce candidates to appear for the mains examination is out of the question.
“Only those candidates who have been declared qualified for the mains examination will be allowed,” the APPSC said.
While the commission reiterated that candidates had been adequately compensated for out-of-syllabus questions, it said the details of compensation method could not be revealed to the public and the same had been submitted before the court.
“The commission cannot constitute another committee of experts to examine the same issue otherwise the whole examination process will get derailed midway. The commission is of the firm view that the grievances of the aggrieved commerce candidates have been adequately redressed,” it said.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved commerce candidates said they are not content with the speaking order and would challenge the order in a high court double bench.
They cited the affidavit submitted by the commission in the high court and claimed that the commission had said it had verified the 64 questions and has not mentioned the verification of the remaining questions.
“In our complaint, we had pinpointed that 64 questions were totally out of syllabus, which was mentioned in the footnote as well. They totally ignored the footnote of our first complaint by analyzing only 64 questions,” said a candidate.