PSC exam: row over use of calculators

KOCHI, JULY 24. The use of calculators by a section of candidates who wrote the Kerala Public Service Commission's examination for lecturers' post in electrical and electronics engineering last week, has erupted into a controversy. Many candidates have complained to the Commission against discrimination in permitting to use calculators.

While most of the candidates were denied permission to use calculators, those who wrote the 75-minute examination at the Government Tamil Vocational Higher Secondary School and TTI, Chalai, Thiruvananthapuram, made use of the gadget reportedly with the permission of the invigilator.

Candidates' plaint

Many of the 1,500-odd candidates who wrote the test at various centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode on July 17 have complained to the PSC chairman and secretary about it. The PSC officials, when contacted, said they would look into the issue.

Hema Ramachandran, a teacher at the University Engineering College, Karyavattom, who took the examination at the Government Tamil Vocational Higher Secondary School and TTI, Chalai, said many had used calculators at the centre. "I could not use it because I had not carried one," she said. She said the invigilator at the centre did not restrict them from using calculators.

G.K. Nisha, another teacher from University Engineering College, who took the test at Government High School, Kamaleswaram, Thiruvananthapuram, said that they were not allowed to use calculator. She said most candidates could not attempt even half of the questions, as 30 per cent of them were problematic.

"We could not even read all the questions," she said. Ms. Nisha has written to the PSC chairman about it.

Geo Kurian, who took the test at SDPY Higher Secondary School, Palluruthy, Kochi, said that calculators were not allowed. He said some of the answers given against the objective questions were wrong. There were even repetitions of answers, he said.

For instance, the first and the third answers given in the four options were the same. He said he was planning to complain to the PSC.

The test was a common one for lecturers in electrical and electronics for engineering colleges and special recruitment lecturers in electrical for polytechnics. There will be two rank lists for these categories.

PSC to look into issue

The Controller of PSC Examinations, P. Sivajadas, said that the Commission would examine the matter. He said it was unlikely that any candidate used a calculator, as there would be a monitoring PSC official at each centre. If the complaints are found to be genuine, the problem will be addressed judiciously, he said.

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