I would like to congratulate the APPSC for once again outmaneuvering the candidates, for standing their ground, all for but wrong reasons. Learning from the fiasco of November 26, 2017, it was hoped the forthcoming exam of July 29, 2018 would be fair, just and transparent. Not undermining the steps taken by the commission to rectify the mistakes, the question still remained; were they enough? With doubts arising from various optional subject groups, the induction of 76 candidates from geography optional for mains exam, infamously called as the second declaration, opened the Pandora’s Box. The reason cited by the commission was nothing more than bewildering i.e. “Human Error”. By and large, this narration was accepted or supposedly bulldozed as many felt human error is possible and deserving candidates should not be deprived of their rightful place. Was it really a human error or sheer negligence remains a matter (subjective) of debate? Then there is the case of commerce optional. After a long and outright denial, common sense prevailed and the commission finally accepted that some questions were out of syllabus for the commerce subject. Point to be noted is that, unlike in the case of infamous second declaration, here the commission did not provide any reason for such misconduct. They simply jumped into a defensive mode, putting forward arguments contradicting the very idea of prescribed syllabus given by them. What method was adopted for compensation marks to be awarded still remains a mystery, thanks to the autonomous/discretionary power of the institution. As per awarding of compensation marks is concerned, how to do you compensate for the extra pressure and anxiety that would develop when you find that one question after another is beyond the syllabus, especially when you are already in a state of pressure and anxiousness. This is something which cannot be compensated for ever. The commission has also rightly justified itself in not producing the prelims answer sheet considering the whole process examination a unity. Many RTIs have been filed with Chief Information Commission of India regarding answer keys, subject wise marks, etc. for various exams like CSAT, IES, IFoS, CDS, CAPF, APFC or any exam, but the same have been denied by the UPSC. Many people, candidates as well as the APPSC fail to understand that the circumstances are different in our case and the circumstances under which information have been sought from UPSC. Our commission is prone to mistakes, and moreover fails to explain them; which is not the case with the UPSC. What is more baffling is the utter silence on the part of the government. No questions have been raised even by the opposition party even in the recently held assembly session.
I pray that atleast the court should see the merit in arguments of the aggrieved students. Paucity of funds and the demand for recruitment of officers by the government should have been well considered in advance by the commission and this should not be a case for merit in support of the APPSC.
Am I against the APPSC? NO. But at the same time I don’t want the institution to play with my life. Many still consider this institution to be the epitome of just and fair exam. That is the reason why many students have been fighting the battle to bring as many as exams under its ambit, for e.g. recent inclusion of B-level exams in general and junior engineering exams in particular. Why? Because of the harsh truth that most of the departmental exams are rigged and nepotism is highly prevalent. Officers should realize that they are temporary, what is permanent is the institution.
The biggest question is: how come the lackadaisical attitude of the APPSC has remained so consistent over the years? Is it only the commission to be blamed or is there anyone on whom the blame be put on? Government of Arunachal since time immemorial has failed to take corrective actions. Lack of political will on the part of ruling government as well as the opposition to strongly voice for good governance has downplayed the name of the APPSC. Setting up of committees and SITs is becoming a vogue, with no solid results. The incumbents of the APPSC either lack the zeal to change the institution or they don’t get the required support in terms of fund, manpower, etc. even if they have. Whatever the kind of nexus or anti-nexus that goes between the government and the APPSC, the most disastrously affected are the candidates who have pinned their hopes in the commission. Nevertheless time and time again students have always stood the test of time and have succeeded in having their demands fulfilled to some extent especially the exigencies. But those students who actually go through the turmoil and hardships of fighting day in and day out are less than 2 percent of all those actually benefitting from the result. Why is the number diametrically almost opposite? The answer to this is that we have made ourselves believe that nothing is going to change. We are terrorized by the feeling that we would be targeted by the commission. We are all in all selfish and have left our work to be done by somebody else. Our seniors and so do we have failed to realize that our action or lack of it would encourage the right or wrong actions that would eventually be borne by us. We are answerable to our future generations. Whether we leave behind a path of roses or thorns for them depends on our action or lack of it.
All is not lost. Hope justice prevails.