Visually impaired candidates from various parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry came to Chennai on Sunday to appear for the Combined Graduate Level Examination 2010 conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

Chennai was the only examination centre in the southern region for the visually challenged candidates who required the help of scribes, said R. Bhagya Devi, Regional Director of Staff Selection Commission, Southern Region.

The candidates who did not require the help of scribes were permitted to write the examination in other centres in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry, she added.

Over 60,000 candidates, including persons with disability, were eligible for the examination. The largest examination centre was Hyderabad with over 19,000 candidates and Chennai had 9,000 candidates.

“The SSC had introduced online applications for the Combined Graduate Level Examination this year and it was helpful for us,” said P. N. Lakshman Kumar, a visually impaired candidate who had come from Vishakhapatnam to appear for the examination.

“But computerisation of the process of the examination and helping us take the examination without the help of scribes would be even better,” said K. B. Geetha, another visually challenged candidate.

“We were given 40 minutes extra time. But I was not able to answer the required number of questions as many questions in General Intelligence and Reasoning were very tough to understand for me even with the verbal explanation of my scribe,” she added.

“Simplifying such questions for us would give a sense of self confidence,” said Ms.Geetha.

“I did not have the time to answer 50 questions as it took a long time for me to understand what my scribe tried to explain,” said another candidate who did not want to be named.

“My scribe wasted my time explaining to me the questions which candidates like me were not required to answer. Had the question paper been specially prepared for us it would not have happened,” she added.

Ashok Kumar, another candidate with visual disability said that the number of questions required to be answered by such candidates should be lesser taking into consideration their practical difficulties.

R.Balasubramanian, a scribe who is an employee of AG's Office Chennai said the candidates were finding it difficult to understand some questions in reasoning even though their awareness of current affairs was good. The time for such candidates should be increased and the number of questions reduced, he added.

P.Gunalan, another scribe working in AG's Office said many candidates with visual disability did not turn up for the examination. One of the reasons is the long distance they have to travel to reach the examination centre, said officials.

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