Of all the demands laid-forth by the PAJSC, nothing has been more contentious than the demand for “null and void.” In the past few days, several articles/editorials have been published both for and against the motion while, some have also tried to walk the thin line between the two sides.
I disagree with AAPSU’s rather absurd statement that it should only happen if more than 60% of candidates are found to be spurious. Why the arbitrary benchmark? Why not 50%, 70% or even 99%? Their rather high-horsed claim about not punishing the innocent rings rather hollow in the face of statements like this. What makes protecting the genuine candidates if they number more than 40% more acceptable than if they number less or more than that?
What people seem to have forgotten is that this is not a criminal case where an individual is under trial and a miscarriage of justice might send an innocent to the gallows. This is a failure of the constitutional machinery at the very basic level (Article 16). The onus was on the commission to conduct a free and fair exam, on which they failed spectacularly. Who is AAPSU to decide who are the genuine candidates and who aren’t when the malpractices occurred in each and every step of the exam? When the Prelims itself is compromised, how can any candidate be genuine?
Specifically, concentrating on the 2017 APPSCE, what kind of competitive exam has supplementary results declared? And what was the commission’s response when questioned about the same? I quote: To err is human. I suppose Taket Jerang et al might also use this ridiculous justification at this point.
And the “null and void” demand isn’t something unprecedented that will open some sort of Pandora’s Box. It has happened in many states, many times-Manipur, Delhi, etc. Even closer to home, how many of you, particularly members of AAPSU and the self-proclaimed genuine candidates, applauded the voiding of the APSSB exam when the whole Kapter Ringu affair happened? What about the first 2017 Prelims that was discarded for some ridiculous reason? What’s happening now with Taket Jerang is a far more serious breach of conduct than whatever was used as the cause for protest at that time. I also seem to recall AAPSU taking quite a different stand back then. What about the AE exam that was negated just recently for the very same reason the 2017 exam is under scrutiny? Were there no genuine, hardworking candidates who sat in those exams? The only difference between the two exams is the amount of time that has passed. Is time the only factor that decides which exam should be nullified and which shouldn’t?