The recent accusations by an aspirant’s rights group and individuals against the Nagaland Public Service Commission’s marking system in the so called interview of the NCS/NPS/NSS & Allied Services Examination brings to light another sad picture of the State of Nagaland. It is actually a big joke not unlike the ones usually played by the super villain antagonist the Joker in Marvel comics.
To repeat what the NPSC states about its interview round: “The Interview is intended to assess the overall intelligence and the personality of a candidate and also the aptitude and attitude relevant to the services opted for, rather than merely the range of their information and memory.” It is self explanatory and undoubtedly a personality test. It is also not the usual Viva-Voce on any particular subject although the commission continues to use it as so in their notifications and circulars. So how can someone get 98.82 percent (74.12 out of 75) in a personality test, unless the candidate is the most exemplary human being on Earth and also the interviewers are super beings to know one. It’s a pity for the candidate to whom this preposterous mark of 98.82 percent was allotted. This 98.82 percent will haunt his/her entire life because he/she will be expected to be one. In fact anyone scoring more than 75 percent in the Interview Stage of the NPSC should be made poster boys and girls of the state immediately. They can be made to travel around the state so that many of the youngsters can be like them.
A comparison with the Union Public Service Commission is becoming an exercise in vain but to drive the point, the interview component although similar in percentage when compared to the total marks, the total marks of the two commissions are very different. The UPSC has a total mark of 2025 whereas NPSC has a total of just 675. The more the total marks the better it is for the aspiring candidates especially the better ones as they get more chances to be tested and excel while the less competent ones gets eliminated. This is the reason why in 2016 although the UPSC topper Tina Dabi scored less than 59 other candidates in the personality test she still topped the exam. The bottom line is that the lesser the total marks for the exam the lesser ways the candidate is tested. Moreover as for the personality test the lesser the total marks it carries the more stringent and stingy should be the marking system.
Nevertheless, nothing is failsafe until the joke that is of the selection of the members of the commission is not corrected by the government. It is agreed that in the NPSC the total marks of the interview stage of the exam was decreased earlier too due to the obvious reasons of nepotism by the celebrated members of the commission. It was also informed officially by the commission that it does not share the total marks scored by the candidates to the members because of the same obvious reasons. So much for data integrity but the recent results indicate something different. Sadly a state with majority Christians with churches in every nook and corner cannot even select men and women of integrity to be members of the commission.
It is now really disturbing to realise that many a lives of aspirants over the long history of the Nagaland Public Service Commission would have been lost and wasted. However this episode has uncovered something big that actually casts aside bribery, question paper leaks, answer script insertions post exams and all sorts of other corruption and irregularities that happens in similar recruitment boards. The members of the Nagaland Public Service Commission think that they are God.