What does the term mesophytes imply; aquifer mapping is done to assess what; who is ISRO’s first woman scientist who recently spent over 403 days in Antarctica; which revolutionary turned into a philosopher during the freedom movement; jurisdiction of High Court under Article 226 is to enforce what — these are some of the 90 questions that were asked in a recent examination to recruit class IV employees in Haryana.
Candidates were asked to reply from multiple choices. Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) held this examination on November 17 to recruit animal attendants, helpers, chowkidars (watchmen), gardeners, beldars (deployed to remove weed on canals), cooks and peons.
The Indian Express accessed one set of question papers out of eight that were given to the candidates in the examination.
For 18,218 group D employee vacancies, a total of 18 lakh candidates applied and 11.5 lakh took the test. The minimum educational qualification was class 10. The result is expected in February 2019.
The question paper includes 75 per cent questions on general awareness, reasoning, mathematics, science, English and Hindi, and 25 per cent on history, current affairs, literature, geography, civics, environment, culture of Haryana.
The pass percentage of Class 10 students who took Haryana Board of School Education’s examination this year was barely 51.15.
Without commenting on the questions asked in the examination, HSSC Chairman Bharat Bhushan Bharti said, “It was the biggest recruitment drive. Before this, 7.5 lakh candidates had appeared for 6,000 posts of clerks a few months ago.”
Another HSSC officer told The Indian Express, “Question papers are set through a confidential process and thus cannot be commented upon… Some tough questions are asked to evaluate mental ability of candidates. We shall put the answer key on our website and seek objections from students regarding the questions before declaring results.”
HSSC’s Controller of Examination Isha Kamboj did not comment on the questions.
A postgraduate student, who took the November 17 examination, said, “I had even taken Haryana Civil Services examination, but this exam for a Group-D post is tougher. In civil service examination, the questions are asked from a set syllabus. In such recruitments for Group C or D vacancies, there is no limitation.” Another candidate echoed similar sentiments, adding that questions for school lecturer posts are also subject-specific.
The aspirants said that mostly candidates who have masters degrees and are preparing for competitive exams would be able to clear the exam.
“Why did the authorities put matriculates in trouble by allowing them to appear in such an exam when it was beyond their control to tackle? Was it just to charge fee from them?” asked Rajiv Godara, an advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court. “It appears that people who set such a question paper were not aware about the education standards of schools in Haryana.”
The examination fee for general category candidates was Rs 100 while it was Rs 50 for reserved categories, Rs 50 for female aspirants from general category and Rs 25 for female aspirants from reserved categories.
Academic Ranbir Singh, who read the question paper accessed by The Indian Express, said it was obviously too difficult for candidates seeking D category jobs. “The examination was far above the standards of matric students,” said Singh, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi.
The monthly salary for a group D post is approximately Rs 20,700 including allowances.