Serious discrepancy in APSC Prelims ** 92 mistakes in answer keys of 21 subjects
GUWAHATI, May 2: In a major goof-up by Assam Public Service Commission while conducting prelims for recruitment of civil, police and allied services, wrong answer keys were provided for evaluation of answer sheets.
A total of 92 mistakes have cropped up in the answer keys of 21 out of the 22 subjects of the Assam Civil Services examination, forcing the APSC to declare the results twice.
The APSC on March 13 had announced a list of 3,361 successful candidates in the prelims and then again 408 found their place after some aggrieved candidates got access to the answer key through RTI and found several answers in the answer keys to be wrong.
The examination was held on December 30 last year. The first list of the qualified candidates was announced on March 13, while the second one was issued on April 30, the APSC Chairman Dipak Kr Sarma told a press conference here.
He said that 3,361 candidates who had cleared the preliminary examination on the basis of wrong answer keys have been retained to appear for the mains though some of them have secured lower marks in the re-evaluation.
Sarma said 408 more candidates were allowed to write the mains examination in the second list after the re- evaluation.
Asked about the action taken against the experts for the mistakes, Sarma said, “We will not involve them in future APSC works.”
To another question, he said the APSC has not thought about taking any punitive action against those experts.
Because of this anomaly, the APSC has blacklisted 22 experts who were responsible for setting up of question papers and preparation of answer keys.
APSC principal controller of examinations Pubali Gohain said out of the 22 subjects that had candidates, 21 had mistakes in their answer keys submitted by the subject experts who were teachers from reputed colleges and universities.
Political Science had the maximum of 14 wrong keys, followed by 11 in History, nine in Sociology, eight in Mechanical Engineering and seven in Geology.
Education and Electrical Engineering had six mistakes each, five in Physics and three each in General Studies, Agriculture, Anthropology and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, she said.
Gohain said Civil Engineering, Commerce, Mathematics, Philosophy and Zoology had two mistakes each, while Law, Geography, Electronics and Botany had one wrong answer each in the solution keys.
Only Economics had no mistake at all, she added. Gohain said, “Discrepancies in answer keys came to light after the results were announced. The APSC suo moto took up re-verification of answer keys so that no deserving candidate is deprived of the opportunity to appear in the main exams”.
Questions are now being asked as to how the 3,361 candidates cleared the prelims in the first attempt if the answer keys are found to be incorrect.
The APSC is already embroiled in a cash-for-job scam being investigated by the Assam Police, which has arrested nearly 70 persons that includes its former Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and over 55 civil services officials since 2016.