Examiner’s Dereliction: JKSSB’s Questions Need to be Questioned

It is unfortunate that those entrusted with the responsibility to filter merit out of the many, barely make the cut in competence themselves

By Malik Javid

Gone are the days when government jobs were considered to be reserved for people with political influence, money and muscle. The times have changed, we are living in a meritocratic era, and no other factor but pure merit plays a role in landing a government job. Now in a world full of opportunities, our erstwhile state is lagging behind in providing timely job opportunities to educated youth. With very little and poorly paid opportunities in the private sector, providing employment has become arduous  for the government with  all educated unemployed youth having pinned their hopes of earning their livelihood through government jobs.

As per recent data, J&K’s unemployment rate of 46.3 % among the educated category is the second highest unemployment rate after Kerala, where the percentage stood at 47 %. In such a scenario, the role of recruiting agencies like JKSSB and JKPSC has become ever more significant to expedite the advertisements of vacant posts in government sector and conduct the exams for the same.

Since the JKSSB and JKPSC have their work cut out, it becomes even more important for these institutions to act in a competent and professional manner. This, especially after questions have been raised on the competence of JKSSB after recently concluded FAA exams, where the aspirants complained that the paper was poorly set as a number of questions were out of syllabus. One would have thought that the predicament would favour the smart. However, the standard of the question paper was so poor that it gave no advantage to candidates who had worked hard, over those who hadn’t. Worse still, as if the standard of paper wasn’t enough to demoralise the candidates, gross errors in questions and options provided made the matter worse for candidates. It seemed like JKSSB had not proofread the paper before finalising it.

The question paper had a few questions which were poorly framed, vague and had more than one correct answer in the options. Consider this: about two to three questions in the paper had correct answers in two options out of the four provided. This left many anxious with right answers — a rare feat that is only reserved for JKSSB.

After the conclusion of the examination, JKSSB had asked for representations from candidates on doubtful questions to revise its key. More than 21000 representations were received by JKSSB through online mode, while the revised key was uploaded a few days later. Questions that needed to be corrected remained as they were, thus robbing the candidates of genuine points which ultimately would’ve determined their selection.

In competitive exams like these, where fractions determine success, the glaring examples of misconduct on the part of JKSSB brings it into serious disrepute and calls into question its competence to conduct such exams. It is time for the government to take a serious look at these institutions so that no such instance is repeated and the deserving candidates get their due without having to bear the consequences of incompetence of conducting institutes. It is unfortunate that those entrusted with the responsibility to filter merit out of the many, barely make the cut in competence themselves.

Views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer 

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