This is my humble appeal to the Honourable Judge of the Itanagar Bench High Court to resolve the matter quickly. I would like to point out the judgment of Punjab & Haryana High Court regarding the case “Jitender Kumar And others vs Haryana Public Service Commission”. The situation there was quite similar to the situation we are facing now i.e. after their preliminary exam (Haryana Civil Service Exam 2012) anomalies were found in some optional papers and a case was filed against HPSC. The crux of the court verdict there were:
1. HPSC shall constitute a Committee of Experts to look into the anomalies pointed out by the students.
2. HPSC shall publish the answer key of the preliminary examination within a period of 3 days from the day the judgment came out, call for the representations from the candidates within a reasonable time, on receipt thereof, if any, the same be referred to a Committee of Experts, which shall consider these representations. In case, discrepancies are found in the question papers/answer keys, corrective measures be taken.
3. However, in case of discrepancies in optional subjects, the Commission shall have no option but to order re-examination.
4. The result be thereafter compiled and declared only after the above process was given effect to.
5. The mains written examination was postponed till the above exercise was completed by the Commission.
Re-conduction of examination was done because the fundamental rights of the students were infringed. Since optional papers are not common for all, so the students with optional subjects where anomalies are found are not at par with students with other optional subjects. Thus, they are losing their equality before law (like should be treated alike) principle i.e. Article 14 and also equality of opportunity in Public Employment i.e. Article 16(1).
In 2004, prelims was re-conducted even when 8 questions of Geography optional paper were found to be wrong in Haryana Civil Service Exam. Here in APPSCCE 2017-18, APPSC have accepted that 49 questions out of 125 questions (i.e. almost 40%) of commerce optional were out of syllabus. Also, there were many anomalies in other optional subjects too. I being a geography optional candidate know that 7 questions in geography optional (prelims) were anomalous.
If the Itanagar Bench High Court would have postponed the Mains exam like Punjab & Haryana High Court did in the aforementioned case, then this situation would not have occurred. Or, the verdict to conduct the exam could have been given earlier in the first hearing itself instead of the day just before the Mains exam creating a state of limbo due to which many aspirants could not cope with the mental trauma as for many aspirants stakes are high especially those who are appearing for the last time. Thus, this state of uncertainty and confusion had a great impact on the mental ability to focus.
Regarding APPSC, the whole public is fed-up of it. Why is it that you are incorrigible? Don’t you learn from your mistakes? This was the second time preliminary exam was re-conducted but still you messed up. Really frustrated!
Why is it that every year there are anomalies in setting the question papers?
Also, I would like to ask the MLAs of the state to change the APPS Combined Competitive Examination Rules, 2001 and bring the examination pattern at par with the UPSC pattern i.e.:
1. Preliminary exams with no optional but with GS and CSAT. Since this will be common to all, re-conduct won’t be necessary if some anomalies are found in it unlike anomalies in optional papers now – Which is the root of the problem now.
2. In Mains, instead of 2 optional subjects change it to 1 like UPSC does and instead increase GS papers.
Arunachal Pradesh is the only state where the old pattern of UPSC exams is still being followed. Other states have reformed their examination pattern to match UPSC pattern. Some like Madhya Pradesh have even removed Optional papers in mains.
And please don’t bring piecemeal reforms. Study all the reports of the committees on the reformation of UPSC like ARC reports, Baswan Committee Report, etc and then bring in a comprehensive reform of the APPSC. The public is really fed up of the present system of APPSC.
Aggrieved and Protesting