Aspirants stuck between confused APPSC and govt lethargy

[ Taba Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, Jun 3: With the fate of the July 2018 mains examination conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) hanging in the court, there is growing frustration among the civil service aspirants of the state.
The two writ petitions filed by a group of commerce students, and another by a group of 220 aspirants, have stalled the process of completion of the exam.
Aggrieved over various issues concerning them, the two groups have knocked the door of the court. Since then, the battle between the aspirants and the commission is dragging on in the court. And this delay is deeply worrying several other aspirants.
This reporter spoke to officials of the APPSC – who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity – to know the exact reasons for the delay, and also what is stopping them from going ahead with fresh recruitment of civil servants.
“We are also waiting for the court to give its verdict, but everyone knows that court matters can take years to come to a conclusion. So, apart from waiting, there is no choice. Also, there is the possibility that either party may take the matter to a higher court if the verdict is not in their favour,” said an official, who also declared the APPSC’s intention to take the matter to higher courts if the verdict goes against the commission.
He added, “The commission took enough measures to address all the concerns of the aspirants. Therefore we saw no reason to scrap the mains examination, and accordingly went ahead. From our side, things are clear; let the court decide the fate. It should be noted that it is upto the state government whether to scrap the ongoing exam or wait for the court’s verdict.”
Altogether 1339 aspirants had cleared the prelims examination. Out of these, 1336 applied for the mains. The mains examination was conducted amid much controversy, and, reportedly, only 645 aspirants attended the exams in all the subjects.
The tussle between the APPSC and some of the aspirants has become a matter of concern for a thousand others.
“This has to end at the earliest. In the rest of the country the public service examinations are conducted annually. The last time the APPSC conducted civil services examination was in 2017, and that, too, immediately ran into trouble. There are some aspirants who are on the wrong end of the age limit. If this continues, the frustration of the youths will increase, and it may lead to social turmoil,” warned an aspirant.
The commission informed that if the state government issues fresh requisition for conducting civil service examinations, it is ready to go ahead. The APPSC has also submitted a proposal to the state government to conduct future civil service examinations in the UPSC pattern. The commission submitted its proposal in October 2018, and again sent a reminder to the state government in January this year. However, the government is yet to respond to the proposal.
“The present pattern that the commission is following was adopted way back in 2001. There have been demands to scrap it and follow the UPSC pattern. Accordingly, the commission has submitted the proposal, but the state government is sitting over it. The only way to make civil service examinations error-free will be by following the UPSC pattern,” the official added.
On being questioned about the constant delay in declaring the results of various other competitive examinations conducted by the APPSC, the commission cited lack of manpower as the reason. The commission has been facing criticism over the delay in declaring the results of the exams for subject teachers, range forest officers, joint BDOs, and others.