Selection controversies in Arunachal

[M Panging Pao]

The Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) is the premier constitutional body of our state for selecting suitable candidates for various posts. The task mandated to the APPSC is to select suitable candidates for various posts, as per requisitions of the appointing authorities, through a selection process comprising written tests, interviews, etc.
The APPSC is manned by accomplished, eminent members of our society and supported by many officers and staff. The required resources are placed at their disposal for smooth functioning.
However, recent instances show that there have been avoidable controversies and gaffes in the conduct of some important selection processes, which has brought the commission unnecessary negative publicity and legal litigations. Why can’t these selection processes be conducted smoothly?
If any logical, rational human were to be given this task, it could have been conducted smoothly as given below.


Flights Of Fantasy


(a) Once the government notifies the vacancies/posts and timelines, work backwards to finalize a timeline for conduct of important events. A rough example could be: publication and submission of selected candidates and final results; validation of the final merit list; selection of candidates for the viva voce; selection of board members for the viva voce; selection of candidates for the mains examination; the board for selection of question papers for the mains examination; conduct of mains examination; selection of candidates for mains examination; board for selection of question papers for mains examination; conduct of prelims examination; selection of candidates for prelims examination; board for selection of question papers for prelims examination; advertisement/notification, etc.
(b) Prepare a check-list for conduct of the entire selection process and follow them meticulously. Many software are available for timely reminders.
(c) Form a core team for conduct of each selection process and make them accountable for the smooth conduct of the selection process.
(b) Towards setting of accurate, non-controversial question papers as per laid down syllabus, without fear of leakage, the following are suggested: Form five groups of academicians to set five sets of questions and model answers. Once finalized, refer these five sets to another team of academicians to analyze and peruse all sets of questions and model answers for accuracy, correctness and maintenance within syllabus. Sign a secrecy/non-disclosure agreement with all these academicians to check leakage. The corrected sets should be sealed and kept securely. The final question papers should be selected just before the exam date, and sealed and distributed under judicial/police escorts to the examination centres.
Errors or lapses occur in public service commissions of other states also. There may be lapses based on simple overlooking of errors missed by academicians, syntax errors, etc. However, to have fundamental errors like paper leakage, questions out of syllabus, questions from different websites, etc, means insufficient planning, inefficiency and ineffective execution.
For a body controlling the destiny of thousands of youths, we need an effective and efficient commission. The APPSC should be manned by persons of high integrity and a few accomplished academicians. For the sake of thousands of Arunachalees, we need a non-controversial APPSC. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)