Opposing the state public service commission’s recent move to award "bonus" marks for each "wrong question" in the preliminary examination held in 2013, candidates on Wednesday staged a protest outside commission head office in Indore.
The candidates had appeared for the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC) exam held on July 27, 2013, for filling nearly 800 post vacant posts in different government departments. Over four lakh candidates appeared in the examination.
On August 29, the commission had admitted errors in a dozen questions in the general studies paper and four questions in the general aptitude paper of preliminary examination and decided to award two "bonus" marks for each wrong question.
On Wednesday morning, a large number of candidates, who had appeared in the 2013 exam, staged a protest outside the commission head office demanding that the commission to either do away with the bonus marks or quash the entire examination.
Citing a case of Maharashtra Public Services Commission 2012 exam, which was quashed after the Bombay High Court intervened in the matter, the agitating candidates said the commission’s move will go against the interest of meritorious candidates, who had answered the questions and will benefit candidates who had either failed to attempt all the questions or left out the "wrong questions".
The candidates said that this was not the first time that the state public service commission was trying to cover its mistakes by awarding bonus marks to the candidates for wrong questions.
They alleged that even in 2012, the commission had given 10 bonus marks against wrong questions.
Sixteen wrong questions, dozens of which were alone in the general studies question paper shows that the commission is not serious about the candidates' future, they said.
It has put a question mark on the competency of the MPPSC in organising such a crucial exam, they added.
After an hour-long protest outside the commission head office, seven protesting candidates were allowed to meet Manohar Lal Dubey, the secretary of the MPPSC to submit their grievances and demands.
After a 30 minutes closed door meeting with the commission's top officials, candidates looked dejected.
The candidates, who met the secretary, said that they got nothing but only false assurances from the commission officials.
The candidates' memorandum will be forwarded to the commission top-brass, said a senior commission official.
"We will table their demand pertaining bonus marks in front of the commission, since only commission has the power to take any decision," said MPPSC deputy secretary Vandana Vaidya.