The recently held preliminary examination for the Kerala Administrative Service (KAS), was widely talked about in the state as memes went viral on how tough the examination was. But a section of aspirants have now levelled a serious allegation against the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) which conducted the exam.
Candidates have alleged that five questions that appeared in the exam were copied from study material published by a private coaching centre. This includes one question in which the coaching centre had misprinted a word, and it has been reproduced with the mistake in the KAS question paper.
The Kerala Administrative Service exam conducted to select candidates for top administrative posts in the state government, was held for the first time on February 22, 2020. The preliminary exams held on Feb 22 were written by around 3.40 lakh candidates, according to officials.
Five questions - question number 63, 64, 66, 67 and 69- from the guide named ‘KAS Prelims Exam Rank File’ published by Brilliance College - a private entrance coaching centre - can be seen in the KAS question paper without any changes.
The 67th question in the Brilliance study material says, “Which of the following violates the principle of Utility of Command?”. Candidates allege that this is wrong and it should have been ‘Unity of Command’ instead of ‘Utility of Command’.
“How can they blindly copy paste questions from study materials of private coaching centres? And that too a wrong question. Kerala PSC is diligent in making the exam fool proof by disallowing candidates from wearing analog watches, but they are not careful in the most basic thing,” a candidate who wrote KAS exam told TNM.
@CMOKerala @vijayanpinarayi Sir, Bringing this matter to your attention with utmost despair and dejection. It is disheartening to see that many of the questions that appeared in KAS prelims which was held on 22/02/2020 are directly taken from the rank file of a..(contd.) pic.twitter.com/SUJaMTxkvi— Hariprasad K Kotarathil (@vrikodaran) February 24, 2020
The candidates also stated that it was unfair to depend on the study materials by private institutions. “There are thousands of candidates who prepare for the exam without going to coaching centres. This is unfair to those candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and MLA PT Thomas alleged that six other questions of the KSA preliminary examination question paper were copied from Pakistan Civil Service exam question paper. He demanded a detailed probe in the matter.
Meanwhile, in a press meet held at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, Kerala Public Service Commission chairman MK Sakeer denied the allegations made by the candidates and MLA PT Thomas.
“Question papers are not prepared by PSC, it is done by experts spread all across the country. It's not possible for PSC to even ask them over the phone about the questions. It's to taint the image of PSC that such allegations are being raised,” said MK Sakeer.
He also said that the value of the allegation should be decided by the Kerala society. “The questions all are theory based and there is nothing unusual in them being asked in a PSC exam. Questions and options for them would be the same no matter where the exams are held. There is no discrepancy in it. A person who sets questions would refer to various teaching aids and reference material,” said Sakeer.
When asked specifically about question number 67 which was allegedly copied from the guide despite it being wrong, the chairman did not give a proper answer.