On MPSC exam for lecturer

The Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) had successfully conducted the Written Examination for selection of Lecturer in Government Higher Secondary Schools under Education (S) Department, Government of Manipur, on Sunday, the 22nd February 2015, inspite of threat to ban the said exam. The test was held at various centres in Imphal.

However, there are certain issues which caught my attention while appearing for the said exam in Political Science. Actually, I have full faith in MPSC until I came to know that there were not less than 16 wrong answers/questions in the MCSCCE (Prelim)-2014 in which both the answer keys and results were declared twice. It may also be noted that most of the questions in that exam was copied from UPSC-CSP questions. This article will try to point out some of the areas where MPSC can look into it ‘shamelessly’ so that the quality of questions may be somehow maintained in future.

Firstly, the syllabus or ‘Scheme of Examination for Lecturers (Higher Secondary)’ was issued by the Commission on 5th December 2014 in which the name of the subject was given as ‘Political Science & International Relations’ in the Notice and simply ‘Political Science’ in the detail syllabus given at the Annexure-I. Apart from this, the syllabus for the Optional Subjects was exactly the same with that of MCSCCE (Main). Again, since the syllabus is exactly the same with that of Civil Services, Public Administration is excluded from it even though Manipur University still include Public Administration as a part of Political Science. But, the irony here is that there were not less than 20 questions from Public Administration out of 150 which are supposed to be Political Science.

It is also interesting to note that there are about 56 questions from Indian Polity in the first 150 questions and another 26 in the last 50 questions (Here, I am referring to Question Booklet Series-A where I take it for granted the first 150 questions as Political Science and the last 50 as General Studies). This makes the total number of questions from Indian Polity quite large, i.e., 56 or more in Political Science portion alone, and 82 (or about 41 percent) in all.

Another interesting thing about the questions is that there are certain words/names whose spellings are given differently in different questions. For instance, Bernard was mentioned thrice (Qs.17, 35 & 46). In these three questions, the names are written as CI Barnard, Chester I Barnard & Chester Barnard respectively. Again, Paul H. Appleby is also mentioned thrice (Qs.2, 45 & 95) but in Q.95, Appleby is spelled as ‘Apple’. A book written by Aurobindo Ghosh, ‘Life Devine’ (Q.71) is written as ‘Lite Devine’ in Q.18, and Robert Mitchels (in Q.137) is written as ‘Michel’ (in Q.66), a replica from UGC-NET question.

There are many silly mistakes, either typing or otherwise, in the questions. For instance, ‘Communist Manifesto’ is written as ‘Common Manifesto’ (in Q.112); a year is written in three digits as ‘197?’ (in Q.109); ‘At Theory of Justice’ instead of ‘A Theory of Justice’ (Q.11); ‘Kennth Waltz’ instead of ‘Kenneth Waltz’(Q.143); ‘Hans JJ Morgenthau’ instead of single ‘J’ (Q.145); ‘from’ instead of ‘form’ (Q.135), etc.

The meaning of ‘Polis’, in fact an important term in Political Science, is asked twice (Qs.77 & 116), and another two questions each are also asked on ‘pressure groups’ (Qs.21 & 114), civil services (Qs.79 & 83), and also some others, in a less significant oversight.

As in the above mentioned MCSCCE Exam, most of the questions are again copied—this time from UGC-NET exams. Out of the 150 questions, not less than 70 questions are from various UGC-NET exams. For instance, 21 questions is asked from 2012 (June) alone; 14 from 2013 (June); 10 from 2010 (June); 9 from 2012 (December); 7 from 2013 (December) and so on. Interestingly, no question is asked from the re-examination held in 2013 (September), and I presumed that the question setters were not aware of that particular exam.

In the above analysis, I am not concerned with wrong Questions/Answers, but on those easily avoidable mistakes which would help in improving the quality of the Questions if the question setters were a little more careful. These are just some of the areas which find a place in my memory while appearing for the exam, and certainly there will be many more if the Questions are examined more closely.

My point here is to remind the Commission that there are many young aspirants who have full faith in this Constitutional body, MPSC, to make their career. Therefore, the commission needs to be more careful in setting questions and conducting exam for such prestigious [academic] post in the future. If this trend continues, the young minds of the State may lost their faith in the Commission which will be a great lost to the nation in general and the State in particular. As of now, many educated youths still put their faith on the Commission inspite of many mistakes it had committed in the recent past which, I felt, is too precious to lost again.

Apart from this exam, the Commission is also conducting many important recruitment exams from time to time including that of the upcoming Assistant Professor Post for Government Colleges, and others. Hence, it is hoped that the Commission will try its best to select the most qualified candidates without falling under pressure coming from different directions.

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