It’s a barrier aspiring stenos and clerks are finding difficult to cross.
Over 90,000 applicants for 3,174 posts in various Punjab government departments will have to take the typing test only in Asees and Joy fonts.
“These are the two most prevalent fonts when it comes to typing Punjabi on computer. The remaining fonts such as Sutlej, Ranjit, Dhani Ram Chatrik, Gurbani, Amrit and Anmol are redundant for us,” said officials of the subordinate staff selection board (SSSB) --- the agency that is making the recruitments.
Even the Inscript font, which has clearance from the Centre, is not acceptable, say officials.
Most candidates are in a fix as are used to fonts other than Asees and Joy. “Why have they (officials) imposed this condition? Most of us won’t be able to take the typing test,” said a candidate, who has applied for the post of clerk.
SSSB secretary Kamal Kumar told HT that most people who type in Punjabi these days use Asees and Joy fonts. “So, we decided to make these two fonts compulsory for the typing test,” he said, showing his helplessness in accommodating candidates who don’t have knowledge of these two fonts.
A private company NYS has been hired to take the test and the SSSB would reportedly pay an exorbitant amount to the company for conducting the typing test.
“People start preparing for engineering entrance tests almost a year in advance. We had invited application for these posts in November last. Why these candidates did not prepare for the typing test. They almost had six months,” said SSSB chairman Santa Singh Umaidpur.
Dr Gurpreet Singh Lehal, director of advanced centre for technical development of Punjabi language, literature and culture, Punjabi university, said candidates should be allowed to take the typing test in the ‘font’ of their expertise.
“The varsity has developed mother software which unifies all fonts. Technology is fast changing and the government institutions, especially the recruitment boards, should be open minded,” he suggested.
“The varsity has been conducting tests in 11 different fonts for hiring clerks, both in-house and for other government departments that approach the university,” said Lehal, adding that he willing to offer the software to the SSSB for free.
Umaidpur, however, said: “We go by our decision, and it can’t be influenced by any organisation or a university.”