While several mistakes were detected in the question papers of general studies and various optional subjects of the Haryana Civil Services (executive branch) and Allied Services preliminary examinations conducted on March 25, the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) allowed only a few hours to the candidates to make representations regarding the defects in the question papers.
The Commission is now at the centre of a controversy for awarding marks to candidates for erroneous questions.
Even after being apprised of several inaccurately framed or erroneous questions in the question papers, the Commission did not extend the time for filing of representations by the candidates.
The candidates were given instructions on the cover page of the question booklets, which said: "Candidates may give in writing any representation regarding the questions and answers to the centre supervisor just after the exam is over. Later on it will not be entertained."
The supervisors at the examination centres had also announced on March 25 that "if any candidate finds any type of error/mistake in any question or any given option/choice in the answer, he/she is advised to make a representation to the Commission and hand it over to the centre supervisor soon after the exam is over. No representation/complaint in this regard will be entertained after the declaration of the result".
Candidates who appeared in the exam said the Commission's decision to give only a few hours to candidates for pointing out mistakes was arbitrary.
"A person who has walked out of an examination room and whose mind is solely preoccupied with his own performance in the examination cannot concentrate on writing a representation. Many candidates had come from far-off places and were in a hurry to return. This was unjust. The Commission should have given a day or two for filing representations,'' said a candidate from Gurgaon.
HPSC secretary IC Sangwan was not available for comments.