The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) has invited applications for the Punjab Civil Service (PCS) examinations without notifying the exam syllabus and pattern, leaving aspirants confused.
"The details regarding the scheme of the preliminary and main competitive examination, along with the syllabus, shall be posted on the website of the commission shortly," read the PPSC advertisement calling applications.
The commission wanted to make changes in the syllabus, but the proposal in this regard is pending with the state government. But the PPSC hastily advertised the PCS exam on December 8 without mentioning the syllabus.
An expert committee headed by IAS officer Karan Avtar Singh and including secretary, personnel, Anirudh Tiwari and PPSC members, has suggested changes in the examination. The file concerned is awaiting the nod of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
"There is a proposal to change the examination system by abolishing optional exams of various subjects. Now, there would be four general papers which will have a generalised syllabus. The public service commissions of Maharashtra and three other states are adopting the same process, as this provides a level playing field to candidates irrespective of their choice of subjects," a source said, adding that this had been done to nullify the advantage enjoyed by candidates who opt for high-scoring subjects.
It would also bring parity in the evaluation process as now there would be no separate examiners for each subject. Thus, it would also lower the examination burden of the PPSC, which now hires experts in 27 subjects.
The PPSC has also proposed changes in the syllabus, making it more relevant to assess public administration skills of candidates.
When asked about the exams, PPSC chairman Lt Gen MS Buttar (retd) said, "I can't comment as there is a proposal on which the CM has to take the final decision. Once we get information, we will notify the syllabus and the pattern," he added.
However, PPSC officials said the preliminary exams would remain the same as in previous years, thus there should be no confusion. "If and when the file is approved by the CM, the PPSC should give additional time to students after notifying the syllabus and pattern of the preliminary exams in February and the main exams in May," he remarked.