Aspirants accuse SSB of again messing up AIO examination

‘Conducted paper based exam for computer based job’
Aspirants accuse SSB of again messing up AIO examination
Representational Pic

The aspirants of recently held Assistant Information Officer (AIO) examination have accused the Service Selection Board of again messing up the examination with faulty questions, inadequate time and making it paper-based examination for a computer based job.

The aspirants said that the exam was re-conducted on December 20 after a decade and SSB has 'still not learned from its mistakes.'

"The post requires 100 percent working on computers and they made it a paper based exam, what if somebody has good writing speed but bad with computers. Will they justify the selection to the government later," an aspirant asked. The aspirant said previously the exam for junior rank Information Assistant was held on computers and a few years later SSB has gone down the hill for a higher rank post.

"AIO is a high-pressure job, requiring speed and making press notes of dignitaries like Governor usually on computers and even on a mobile. Apart from taking notes, handwriting is not needed anywhere," another aspirant said. "Unlike other officials, they don't have any other noticeable work outside of computers."

The exam has a long history of litigation as the previous selection list was cancelled and the Supreme Court ordered re-examination after making a fool proof criteria.

Another aspirant raised questions on the descriptive questions. "There were six descriptive questions but there was no mention of mark weightage or word limit for answers. Had they given equal weightage for all different questions, nobody knows," the aspirant said. The aspirants said the journalism revolves around word limit, and here, apart from one question there was no mention of word limit written for any question.

"Will they give equal marks to 300 words and 500 words? Will examiners deduct marks for corrections or bad hand writing too, because in journalism your handwriting doesn't matter," he further added.

According to aggrieved aspirants, majority of them could not complete their paper because there were only two hours for the entire examination. "Time was enough if examination would have been computer based but not for paper based one," the aspirant said.

The SSB had invited representations regarding MCQ's but there was no mention of descriptive questions. The aspirants demanded that SSB also publish the key of the descriptive questions.

"Out of six questions, four questions were such that SSB must have a definite answer (key) for them. Let them publish the answers like they did with the key for MCQs so that every student comes to know who did what," the aspirant said.

Regarding MCQ's aspirants also raised red flag on certain questions in English and general knowledge. "Of course as expected not a single question was on journalism," he quipped.

The marks criteria has already come under fire as aspirants are asking how come the written exam has just 20 points despite having 100 marks. "Previously written and interviews were clubbed together and not this time," the aspirant said.

Chairman SSB Khalid Jehangir when contacted downplayed the queries and said the civil service exams are also conducted paper based without any hue and cry from the aspirants.

About the weightage of marks in question Jahangir said specified space was given for every question and aspirants were supposed to answer the questions within that given space.

"We will not publish any key results of written exams till we conduct the interview of the shortlisted candidates. We will not announce the score of candidates in written exams prior to interviews. The result of interviews and written exams will be announced simultaneously," he said.

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