ITANAGAR, Oct 31: In what is perhaps a first in the entire country, the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) will conduct the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examinations (APPSCCE), 2020, on 1 November by shutting the internet in 15 districts where the exams are being held, and 1,000 police personnel will be deployed.
This is the second time that the internet will be shut while the exam is underway. In 2018, the state had shut the internet after a request by the APPSC.
Some 26,000 candidates will sit for the exam this year.
“About 26,000 candidates have applied for the examination that will be held in 17 centres and 26 sub-centres across the state,” APPSC Secretary AR Talwade informed this daily earlier, adding that the commission is conducting the exam in line with how the UPSC conducted the exam on 4 October.
“Following the Covid-19 protocol, those without masks will not be allowed to enter,” he said.
The highest number of centres will be in the ICR with 53, followed by 18 in Ziro (Lower Subansiri) and 13 in Pasighat (East Siang). Itanagar and Naharlagun will also have the highest number of 12,335 candidates.
The candidates this time around will also be appearing for the preliminary exam based on the UPSC pattern for the first time.
The prelims will contain two papers – general studies and civil services aptitude test.
Internet will be suspended in Tawang, West Kameng, East Kameng, West Siang, Leparada, East Siang, Upper Siang, Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Tirap, Changlang, ICR and Papum Pare districts from 8 am to 12 noon, and from 12 noon to 4 pm on 1 November to prevent transmission/sharing of exam-related information through telecom services.
The APP will be deploying 16 convoys (about 1,000 personnel) as part of its security arrangements for the exam.
Special Investigation Team SP and APP PRO Hemant Tiwari had earlier informed that 150 security personnel have been deployed to keep guard over the 17 strong rooms of the APPSC round-the-clock, under the direct supervision of the respective deputy superintendents of police.
The APPSC had issued a recruitment notification for 79 fresh posts on 11 February this year.
The preliminary examination was earlier scheduled for 17 May, and the mains were scheduled to be conducted from 9 to 17 October. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the date for the prelims has been moved to 1 November and the tentative date for the mains has been slated for 6 February, 2021.
The APPSCCE has been mired in controversy with the last examination taking over three years to complete. The first preliminary of the APPSCCE, 2017, was held on 26 November, 2017. After candidates alleged anomalies in the question paper, the second preliminary was held on 29 July, 2018.
On 6 March this year, the APPSC declared the results of the mains exam held from 10 to 20 November, 2018, amid court battles by those who did not clear the exam and protests by the candidates who had passed the prelims.
The results were declared 6 June.