Tripura: Engineering service aspirants 'traumatised' by UPSC, GATE questions

Agartala: The aspirants for Tripura Engineering Service, an exam conducted to recruit engineers in various government departments, underwent ‘traumatic’ experiences in the exam halls on October 8 as question papers were distributed.

The aspirants who were anticipating questions in parity with the previous year papers were shocked to see a new pattern of questions, set in the standards of the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) and GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test Engineering).

Speaking to EastMojo, one of the aspirants said, “We have no problem if the exam conducting body is eager to change the question patterns and set the papers to advanced standards, but for that, they must have informed the students prior to the exams. At least, a model question paper should have been released when the notification was issued so that we could have prepared in accordance with the model question papers. For the last seven years, not a single written exam has been conducted for the recruitment of engineers in the state”.

“The unemployed engineers ran pillar to post in order to convince the government to fill up the vacant posts in the PWD (Public Works Department) and RD (Rural Development) departments. And, when the exams are conducted, the question paper standards are so high that they would find no eligible candidate for selection,” the aspirant said.

The aspirants explained that for UPSC and GATE exams, the use of scientific calculators is allowed as the weightage of numerical questions is very high in those papers. But, in the TES (Tripura Engineering Service) exams, the question papers were generally prepared in the line of SSC and lower-level exams, as only junior engineers are recruited through it.

“The SSC exam for the recruitment of engineers is underway, and the question papers that we have accessed are much easier than the TES exams. More than 50 MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) were from engineering mathematics, and it was impossible for anyone to solve those many problems without the use of calculators in a stipulated period of time. In many questions, wrong values were mentioned, some questions did not have right answers in choices, and over a dozen questions were asked that were not even in the syllabus of the exams,” another aspirant said.

Some of the applicants also claimed that the question papers that reached the exam halls were not sealed. “In all the exams, question papers are sent to exam halls in sealed format. Five minutes before the exams, the seals were torn, and question papers were distributed among the examinees. In tests held on October 8, all question papers that reached the exam halls were open. We don’t know what kind of exam management is involved in this. In the name of the recruitment test, it was a mockery of our future”, the aspirant added.

Following the backlash from the aspirants, the Tripura Public Service Commission has asked the aspirants to submit their objections and complaints for a review. The TPSC also assured the students that full marks would be given to the aspirants for each of the faulty questions.

Sources in the TPSC said they had received the complaints regarding the exams. All these issues are being looked into, the source added.

The aspirants also informed EastMojo that they would soon come up a written charter of demands seeking clarifications with regard to the examination.  

Meanwhile, Tripura Pradesh Youth Congress Vice President Sahajahan Islam wrote a letter to the TPSC authorities demanding the conduct of fresh exams.

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“The authorities have betrayed the aspirations of the youth. I feel the exams should be cancelled immediately and fresh exams should be conducted as per the question paper model followed in the previous years. We consider this exam a cruel joke with the thousands of aspirants who paid the fees to appear”, he said in the letter.

Around 5,000 aspirants appeared in the exams conducted on October 8 to fill up the 400 posts of junior engineers in the PWD department.   

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