[Nellie N Manpoong & Amar Sangno]
ITANAGAR, Nov 12: Chief Minister Pema Khandu invited the protesting qualified candidates of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive Examination (APPSCCE) to his office on Monday and advised them to wait till the court hearing of 14 November.
Speaking to this daily, a member of the core committee of the protesting candidates informed that they met with the chief minister and Chief Secretary Satya Gopal “briefly” and appealed for conducting the examination in an environment conducive to all the candidates.
In a memorandum to the chief minister, the candidates said a majority of the mains qualified candidates could not appear for the examination due to “mental trauma.”
Since the APPSC has gone through with conducting the general studies and English/essay exams, the candidates appealed for further examination process to be halted in order to avert more damage to the aspirants.
Their only demand, they said, was re-conducting the mains examination by including the qualified aggrieved candidates, but only after the case of the commerce candidates is disposed of.
The chief minister noted that the matter is sub-judice in the high court, and said they would have to wait till the hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Regarding the candidates who claimed to have not been able to attend the examination due to the protest, the chief minister informed them that these issues, along with others, need to be considered.
Earlier, the candidates, who had originally intended on protesting outside the CM’s residence to seek his intervention in the matter, were stopped by security personnel near the circuit house here, where they staged a protest and sought the CM’s intervention.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Monday called for re-conducting the APPSCCE mains altogether.
It appealed to the governor, the state cabinet and the APPSC to cancel the entire exam exercise, and suggested bringing in experts to strengthen the commission.
Addressing media persons at Congress Bhavan here this afternoon, APCC president Takam Sanjoy highlighted the occasions when the APPSC was mired in controversies, including the leakage of papers in 2014, and of times when individuals and organizations made the APPSC reevaluate papers.
“The commission, which is supposed to be an independent and statutory body, has become an institution which the candidates have lost faith in completely. The candidates are insecure and confused under such situations,” Sanjoy said.
He also questioned the fate of the Staff Selection Board (SSB) and said, “If this is the situation of an independent body like the APPSC, what will be the situation of the SSB which will be constituted by the state government itself?”
Seeking investigation into the matter, the APCC also sought scrutiny of all the members and staff of the commission.
Also raising concern over the APPSCCE fiasco, the Republican Party of India said a proper system and mechanism must be worked out to avoid such issues, and suggested sorting out all the shortcomings amicably.
In the meantime, the APPSC filed an FIR at the Itanagar police station on Monday regarding the alleged question paper leakage of General Studies-I (held on Sunday) circulating on the social media, primarily Facebook and WhatsApp.
In its FIR, the commission gave details of the first candidate to leave the exam centre, saying the candidate left the centre after 9.45 am. It also gave the Facebook identity of the person who originally posted the allegation.