ITANAGAR, 16 Sep: A group of aggrieved candidates that had appeared for the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive (Mains) Examinations (APPSCCE) have requested the chief minister to intervene and advise the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) to use its discretionary power and select the candidates in 1:3 ratio (333 candidates for 111 posts).
On 3 September, the APPSC had declared the APPSCCE (Mains) results, in which a total of 141 candidates had been declared to have qualified to appear in the personality test to be conducted from 20 to 22 October.
The total number of vacant seats was 111.
In their letter to the CM, the aggrieved candidates also sought the release of an addendum by the APPSC to add 192 candidates to the result list based on merit at the earliest and comply with the APPSCCE Rules 2019 of selecting candidates on 1:3 ratio and “give the candidates a fair chance to attend the personality test.”
The candidates said that the APPSC has not fulfilled the essential requisite of 1:3 ratio for personality test.
“Although, there is a slated ride for enforcing 1:3 ratio in the personality test, the APPSC office has listed out only 141 candidates for 111 posts. Due to non compliance of this crucial rule by the APPSC, the remaining 192 candidates, who should have been in the list, are being deprived of their right to appear in the personality test,” they said.
“A personality test is a test to assess whether a candidate’s personality is suited for a career in civil services or not. It is not only a test of knowledge, but of the overall personality of the candidate. The personality test is considered to be a very crucial stage of recruitment process and hence weightage of 275 marks has been allotted to this section,” they pointed out, adding: “Not only are deserving candidates denied of their opportunity to appear for the personality test, but the very objective of the personality test is also being compromised.”
While the candidates acknowledged that the APPSC in its advertisement had stated that “candidates who secure a minimum of 33 percent or more marks in each written examination papers and 45 percent of marks out of aggregate total marks in the written examination papers shall be eligible for viva-voce,” it said that the APPSC has also adopted the new recruitment rules and syllabus for the conduct of APPSCCE (the APPSCCE Rules, 2019), wherein “it has been mentioned that the syllabus for preliminary and mains examination shall be in accordance to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) pattern of Civil Services Examination.”
The candidates claimed that the criteria of 33 percent in each subject and 45 percent aggregate total was feasible in the old APPSC pattern, but “it is not sustainable in the new APPSC pattern, where the questions are of analytical and logical reasoning type, similar to the UPSC style.”
“Since, the APPSC has implemented the examination pattern of the UPSC for the ongoing APPSCCE 2020, it is coherent to adhere to the UPSC rules for qualifying criteria as well,” it said.
It informed that the minimum qualifying marks required for each paper in the UPSC (Mains) examination is only 10 percent, which is subject to change based on the difficulty of paper, so as to ascertain 1:3 ratio in the personality test.
The UPSC has no fixed aggregate marking requirements, with English being the only qualifying paper with minimum cut-off marks of 25 percent, it said.
Terming the qualifying criteria of 33 percent in each paper and aggregate total 45 percent as set by the APPSC as “archaic and arbitrary,” the candidates said that “it is irrational to follow examination pattern of a certain institution and not adhere to its rules for qualification.”
The candidates called for scrapping the old qualifying criteria and follow the same qualifying criteria as the UPSC, as the APPSC has adopted its (UPSC) examination pattern as well.
Highlighting the commission’s discretionary powers, the candidates said: “the office memorandum of 7 January, 2008 states that ‘The Selection Committee or Commission may lower the cut off marks of 45 percent to certain extent, in case of non-availability of Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe candidates securing the cut off marks.”
It also spoke of the powers of the governor to amend or effect any change in the rules at any time as and when considered necessary, as well as his power to remove difficulties, if any, in the application of these rules.
Requesting the state government to devise a way to deduce the dilemma at the earliest, the aggrieved candidates said that “many candidates have readied their age bar limit and this is their last chance in the civil service examination.”