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India’s Public examination system – Issue and Way forward
News: As highlighted in an editorial by Varun Gandhi regarding how recruitment for some government posts is a never-ending process.
What are the issues highlighted?
• Delayed recruitment - Recently 4500 candidates in Andhra Pradesh who cleared a district selection committee exam in 1998 have finally been offered regular jobs as teaching staff in government schools. With 24 job-seeking years, most of them reached close to retirement age. Delayed recruitment cycle of SSC exams, railways and at times delay in conducting exams due to paper leaks is a recurring problem that most students continue to face.
• High tuition costs across exams, right from minor posts to UPSC exams.
• When the exams get delayed, it also impacts the youth who suffer both financially and mentally.
What are the solutions recommended?
• Reforms in examination schedule
• Each ministry should ask all departments to prepare an existing vacancies list within three days from the defined zero date.
• The departments should ideally advertise the approved list of existing vacancies within seven days of the approval of such a list
• For each week of delay beyond 30 days, the defaulting department could be liable for a small reduction in their administrative expenses
• Final examination results should be announced within a defined period.
• In the event of cancellation of examinations, compensatory attempts shall be provided to all applicants by relaxing age norms.
• Changes in the examination process
• Waiver of examination fees in a few cases.
• Removing a barrier for candidates from economically challenging backgrounds.
• Providing travel and lodging allowances if the examination centre is not within a specified distance.
• All examination centres must have the basic infrastructure (biometric attendance, cloakroom) and adequate security (guards, invigilators, CCTV cameras) to ensure a fair process
• An integrated examination calendar for all major educational institutions and recruitment to PSUs should be published while ensuring minimal overlap.
India needs to face the challenge of job creation and upskilling of youth for the labour market to ensure that India’s demographic dividend does not become a demographic disaster.