Many candidates who had recently cleared the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) group IV exams were declared ineligible for stenographer jobs at the counselling here, on Tuesday.

The problem, according to the candidates, was that they had applied for junior assistant jobs but had been called interviews for the stenographer's post , for which they were not qualified.

The reason was a question in the registration form which asked if the candidates knew shorthand and typing.

The candidates, most of whom were applying for jobs in junior assistant categories that has positions as bill collector, draughtsmen, surveyor among others, selected this option without knowing that doing so would lead to their being called for this interview.

“I ticked the option as I have learnt typing. But here, they are asking for certificates from government-certified typing institutions,” said a candidate. The candidates who had said they had learnt shorthand and typing but could not produce the needed certificates were also disqualified.

The question is part of the new online registration system that came into effect recently. Earlier, candidates were asked to list out choices but now, they have been asked to select the jobs they would be interested in by ticking a series of options.

A one-time registration facility has made the process easier as it allows the candidate to update her profile as and when her qualifications change. This, say TNPSC officials, has made the process transparent as they could choose the jobs they want.

Many candidates however said that while the instructions on the website have been regularly updated, they are yet to find the medium accessible. “Most of us from rural and suburban areas rely on internet cafes. Many of us are just class X passouts, the minimum required for a job here; so we generally take help from others to fill up forms. The extensive power cuts in many districts have also reduced the time we get to spend in these cafes,” said a candidate who had come from Erode. There were candidates from Salem, Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai and many other places.

The candidates declared ineligible have been asked to wait till December, after which they will be notified if there are vacancies in the junior assistant job category.

According to TNPSC officials, many candidates, anxious to get better jobs, don’t read the instructions carefully, and thus lose out. “There is no compromise on the verification of certificates. If the candidate cannot produce them at the time of counselling, he has to wait for the next rounds. We urge all of them to fill up forms carefully, evaluating the choices as per their qualifications,” an official said.

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