The epic drama titled “anomalies and discrepancies” started with the preliminary examination of the most prestigious exam in the state, which was conducted on 29th of July, 2018 under the umbrella of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
On the 30th of July, the very next day of the exam, commerce candidates went to the Commission Office (APPSC) to complain regarding anomalies and discrepancies found in the commerce paper.The complaint was regarding the then analysed 64out-of-syllabus questions, which could be identified at that limited time period.Along withthe analysed questions, a footnote was attached mentioning that “there are more questions which are out-of-syllabus but due to time constraint (overnight),complete analysis couldn’t be done”. As such, the commission assured us to look into the matter and thereby, promised us to address the complaint as furnished by the candidates.
On 1stAugust, aggrieved candidates went to the APPSC Office again to inquire about the process and provisions adopted by the commission to redress the complaint.At the very moment, the Officials from the Commission Office verbally informed that “they have analysed 64 questions and out of which, 49 questions were out-of-syllabus and accordingly,adequate compensatory marks are allocated to the commerce students”.
We were not satisfied with the decree of Commission and so, requested the Secretary to withhold the prelims result till the demand is fulfilled.However, unfortunately, on the very next day, i.e., on 2nd August, 2018, the prelims result was declared and as expected, out of 1030 candidates, only 3 candidates could have qualified from commerce subject.
Later, we analysed all the questions asked in the prelims exam and came to know that out of 125 questions, 103 questions were out-of-syllabus.It is pertinent to mention that the remaining questions (22) were also from mains syllabus, but due to overlapping topics of mains and prelims syllabus, we considered them as from prelims syllabus.
Regarding this, we also approached two renowned professors of our state, namely- Prof. Otem Padung and Dr. Rajendra Babu for their expert view on prelims questions paper.
After going thoroughly from end to end of the questions asked in the exam keeping in view the prescribed syllabus, they were convinced and presented their observation/statement in a written form that the questions were completely set from mains syllabus.
On 21stAugust, we filed a writ petition in the high court with certain complaints and prayers.
1. 103 questions out of syllabus.
2. Lack of moderation in paper
3. Technical/human error in geography paper
1. Constitute independent expert committee to examine Commerce paper to know exact numbers of out of syllabus questions
2. Re-conduct prelims exam for Commerce
3. Full compensatory marks for all out-of-syllabus questions.
The case was registered on 21stAugust and the first hearing was held on 29thAugust. In total, there were 4 hearings till now (29thAug, 5th Aug, 12th Aug and 17thSept).After so many hearings and rigorous efforts, the court’s verdict was not satisfactory in any manner for aggrieved commerce candidates.
On 17thSeptember, the Hon’ble High Court denied our plea for constituting expert committee to examine the commerce paper by saying that high court doesn’t have authority to give such direction.
Now, if the High Court does not have authority, then who should we approach?
Finally, at the end, court gave direction to the Commission (APPSC) to provide reasoned and speaking order. The Commission has been directed to “re-analyse all 103 questions”. Rather than taking necessary steps, the Commission has violated the High Court direction by not re-analysing all questions as directed by the court. Instead, the Commission claims that they have already “redressed” the entire grievances before the declaration of prelims result. As such, the format of response was not fulfilling the basic requirements.
We have all relevant documentary evidences to counter the claims and statements made by them in the ‘reasoned and speaking order’. Single bench judgement/outcome is not the end but it provides us a greater scope to fight for greater good cause.
We must not lose hope and strength because our demand is not frivolous and inane. We must fight unless transparency and accountability is ensured.
This is not a fight of only the Commerce candidates or any particular aggrieved candidate. It has now become a fight of the common people against the repeated blunders, mismanagement and inefficiency of the Commission in conducting the most prestigious exam of the state.
The commission has already lost its integrity and reputation by frequently failing to maintain transparency in conducting exam.
How long will aspirants suffer due to the negligence and incompetency of the commission?
The time has come to bring change in the system of recruitment process and it is a matter of urgency to reshuffle the human resource working under the APPSC on the ground of their repeated failure to conduct the exam.
The commission has made series of serious allegations which are uncalled from a responsible office like APPSC against the entire commerce fraternity by using harsh terms against our professors and candidates, such as “instigating and misleading”, “non-serious candidates”, etc, which are merely allegations to hide their incompetency and malpractices.
Commerce Candidates are now going to file a writ petition in a double bench to challenge the judgement of the single bench. if situation demands, we will move to the supreme court as well.
It is our kind and humble appeal to all the citizens of the state, especially young and intellectual people to stand together and be the part of this historic movement to bring positive change.
Aggrieved commerce candidates