Aspirants are miffed after the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) notified a change in norms in the selection criteria for the mains examination. In a recent circular, the commission notified that for every vacant post, 12 candidates will be selected from prelims to appear for the mains (1:12). A few months ago, the commission had declared this criteria to be 1:16, to allow maximum students to appear for the exam.
Selection for the MPSC is a three-tier process — prelims, mains and an interview. The notification issued last week stated, “While shortlisting candidates for the main examination from the preliminary examination, the cutoff line of marks shall be fixed in such a manner that the number of candidates available for the main examination shall be 12 times the number of posts available for recruitment. After fixing the cutoff line of marks, it should be ensured that the available candidates for each category are 12 times the number of posts advertised in the respective category. If the number of candidates is short of 12 times the posts advertised, the cutoff line of marks so fixed shall be brought down so as to have 12 times candidates in each respective category. The additional candidates so qualified for the main examination by relaxing the cutoff line shall be eligible only for the posts of their respective category.”
Meanwhile, candidates are an unhappy lot since lesser number of students qualifying for the mains means a higher cutoff merit and hence more competition.
“From 2017 onwards, they declared that the preliminary examination will be a combined one for three posts of police sub-inspector, sales tax inspector and assistant section officer, which has made it tough to qualify for the mains… Earlier, the exams used to be conducted differently so even if a candidate didn’t do well in one exam, he or she could score in another… Chances which had already lessened after the decision to have combined exam have now further lessened,” said Kiran Nimbhore, a candidate.
The issue of change in norms in selection criteria isn’t new. A few years ago, MPSC had changed the selection criteria to 1:8 from 1:14 after leading to protests and rallies by candidates. Later it was changed to 1:12
and, more recently in September 2017, it was once again revised to 1:16. In the latest notification last week, the commission went back to the 1:12 ratio.