Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SPSC candidates cry foul; Commission refute allegations of discrepancies in question papers

GANGTOK, April 15:
Candidates writing the Civil Service Examinations conducted by the Sikkim Public Service Commission (SPSC) have brought to light several discrepancies on the part of the department in conducting the exams.
Few candidates on conditions of anonymity today told SIKKIM EXPRESS that the decorum of conducting a civil service examination have been vastly neglected by the concerned department.
According to them, the rules and syllabus for the open competitive exam for the candidates for the appointment to the junior grade of the Sikkim State Civil Service has not been fully exercised. The question papers for various subjects were full of errors and in some cases, questions were totally out of context.
In what could be called a rare occurrence, candidates for the Geography subject (optional paper) were caught off guard when they realized that there were no marks mentioned for the Section III questions of Geography paper.
Irritated over the oversight, the candidate said that even the Economics paper did not carry marks. “Without mentioning the marks for the required question, we failed to understand as to how many words the answer should be. Our future is at stake here but the Commission seems to be least bothered,” a candidate from Gangtok said.
In another gross oversight, the Geography paper carried questions that had nothing to do with the subject. Sample this: “Describe the salient features of Sikkim’s economy.” “A question on Sikkim’s economy should be carried in the Economics paper and not in Geography paper as done by the Commission,” the candidates complained.
Moreover, candidates are also unhappy over the General Knowledge paper. They said that although the syllabus excluded Sikkim-related affairs, the GK paper carried questions on Sikkim. “It is not that we do not want questions on Sikkim. But what we want to say is that the syllabus should be followed strictly,” they said. “I was shocked to learn that one of the questions in GK, which read- “who won the recent under 19 tournament” was not specific. It did not mentioning which tournament - hockey, cricket, kabbadi or football,” another candidate informed.
The candidates also complained that the question papers were brought in open without being bundled or with any official seal in the examination halls. Most of the question papers were in photo-copied form as well. “The question papers were brought loose and that too photo-copied. There is every chance that the papers could be leaked,” one candidate said.
When they tried to apprise the invigilators with the discrepancies, the invigilators simply responded by saying that they were only deputed for the exams and have nothing to do with the matter, the candidates alleged.
Most of the students have been preparing for the exams since the past two years, it is learnt.
Earlier, the candidates had complained the Department for declaring the examination dates on a very short notice.
On the other hand, Secretary of SPSC, KK Pradhan while talking to SIKKIM EXPRESS said that although the General Knowledge syllabus did not mention Sikkim, it was accepted that the candidates should know everything about their State.
He also said that the Principals of every schools and colleges where the examinations were held were the supervising authorities who opened the question papers.
The Secretary ruled out the complaints that it was not mandatory to have the seal of the Commission on every question paper.
All the questions are being set up by experts from various Universities outside the State, he informed.