KAS: Have you failed

No point protesting, buckle up and prepare for another try

Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 11 2018 10:50PM | Updated Date: Dec 11 2018 10:50PM
KAS: Have you failedRepresentational pic
In all competitive exam the declaration of result means only a few happy faces. In an exam like KAS, where final pass percentage is less than 0.5%, the regulating body at every level of examination has to edge out a larger number of candidates, much against their wishes. But, the Public Service Commission actually does not fail anyone. It’s only that it give you another chance to buckle-up and try again. KAS exam invariably also throws up some surprises. Many of my colleagues at my time or students could not figure in the final list much to my surprise. 
After the results of 2016 Mains exams were declared by the Commission last week, I received a lot of distress messages from students. The media and social media also reported protests by some students alleging irregularities or error. I know it is incredibly tough to face failure, but there is a difference between getting defeated and feeling defeated. Instead of protesting or dwelling upon what went wrong, try to focus your attention on what you can do right next time and how you should use it as learning experience.
A feature of this exam is that you have to be consistent in all papers. A rule governing this exam also provides that "only those candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, in any or all the papers are called for the Personality Test". You may perform outstandingly well in all papers but fail to cross the mark in one subject, you are just out, no matter you may have more aggregate marks than all other candidates in the fray. Sometime some candidates fail to secure minimum fixed marks in Essay or qualifying English paper. The rules leave no scope for any kind of mercy by the Commission towards the candidates. Normally the Commission fixes minimum qualifying marks at 33%. However, they may fix it at a higher percentage. That's their complete discretion based in their judgment.
Some of the past mistakes by the Commission have unfortunately generated some kind of mistrust among the aspirants. That is why a few boys and girls feel disappointed and have come out to protest, alleging errors in the process of evaluation. But the heartening fact is that the Commission has learned from its past mistakes and has introduced much desired technology in the process of evaluation for the first time. With this reform, they could come up with the Mains results in a record time this year, also compensating for the previous loss to some extent. However, some things in the process of evaluation are beyond the control of Commission, where the examiner has a final say. Since a large number of candidates were participating this time, multiple examiners would obviously have been involved for evaluation of some of the popular subjects like Anthropology, Public Administration or Urdu Literature etc, in which the number of candidates writing the exam is large. In this situation a complete objectivity is not possible and this is something beyond the control of the Commission. It is where you cross the threshold of your best efforts and your destiny comes in
The candidates that have doubt about their assessment, will in any case get their performance sheets once the process of examination is over. The exam process is always subject to judicial scrutiny. Any human error, though a remote possibility, can always be rectified. The Commission is not above the courts. Thus, my humble advice to the students who could not make it to the interview stage would be to gracefully accept the results and prepare the next exam and also await their performance sheet of the exam that would give them something to introspect, or may be case for court of law. Don't let yourself to be exploited by any wrong elements around you.
The candidates that have qualified the Preliminary examination should focus on the Mains exam scheduled for February, 2019 and others must prepare for the next PT exam. At least 80 fresh posts are expected to be referred to the Commission for recruitment for the year 2019, the PT exam for which will be held around the month of June. The Public Service Commission is at a very critical juncture as regards the Combined Competitive Services Exam, making a transition from an old system to a new system of examination. Some overlapping and stressing situation is inevitable but I hope from next year, we will have a smooth exam process as per a given calendar around the UPSC exam dates. That is the spirit with which this reform was affected by the Government. 
For those who made it after a lot of hard work and suffering, please respect this opportunity. It's a lifetime opportunity and please don't let it go. Work sincerely harder, while being prepared for an exit. Two of you out of three have to again make an exit. A disappointment at final stage could be even more distressing, so be prepared.
My best wishes to all.

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