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NPSC proposes exam pattern reforms
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 1 (NPN):
Published on 2 Jul. 2011 12:47 AM IST
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Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) has proposed a common syllabus— a switch over from Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) to descriptive type in the main examination for NCS/NPS/NSS and allied services. This was stated during a consultation meet on the proposed examination reforms held at Hotel Japfü, Friday.
The commission said it was a priority that change in the pattern of examination and content came by way of switching over from MCQ to descriptive type in the mains. It said such a change would give scope to assess candidates on their critical and analytical thinking.
The proposed pattern would have different segments of questions carrying separate marks with uniformed coverage of topics prescribed in the syllabus.
The proposal also envisaged enriching the content of examination by providing a common syllabus covering wide area of fields expected to be known by an aspiring civil servant.
Chairman NPSC, Dr. V. Hokuto Zhimomi, said that the proposed common syllabus would emphasize on testing the aptitude of candidates for the demanding life of civil service and on the ethical and moral dimensions in decision-making.
He pointed out that in the process of making the whole system more objective, humane and transparent; the new form would also lighten the burden of the NPSC that presently offered more than 32 optional subjects involving, time, money and energy.
In proposing the new approach, he expressed hope that the commission would take a step closer to the goal of selecting the finest candidates for civil services giving a new direction to state bureaucracy.
In the proposed pattern, preliminary exam of MCQ type covering general studies; descriptive type main exam on general essay and comprehension and two papers of general studies would carry 200 marks each with additional 12 ½ per cent of the total marks from the interview.
The paper on general studies would include general science, national and international current events, history and culture of India, geography, Indian polity, Indian economy, Indian National movement and freedom struggle, mental ability tests and other related fields. In the main examination, additional subjects include crisis management and social problems, statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams, basic and everyday science, geography, culture and heritage of Nagaland and administration in Nagaland.
The present system covers preliminary exam with a ratio of 15:1, mains (MCQ type) with ratio of 3:1 and viva voce. Some defects of the present system,as pointed out by NPSC member Dr. Kilemsungla were non uniformity in the level of question setting and marking system; inaccurate balance in the scaling system; delay in declaration of results due to large number of optional subjects. She further said that MCQ type did not provide opportunity to candidates to express their creativity and critical thinking.
Nagaland chief secretary Lalthara suggested reorientation of subjects with emphasis on science, mathematics, IT and computer. He described the current pattern as being biased towards Arts stream. He also maintained that marks obtained from the preliminary exam should also be added while assessing the final tally of a candidate.
Additional CS and commissioner Nagaland, Banuo Z. Jamir underlined the need for a combined syllabus in exam pattern. She also suggested focus on science subject to cover all streams including those with general science background. She also laid emphasis on the need to include grammar in the question pattern.
Principal secretary, Law & Justice, C.J. Ponraj said that public service was a means to man public institutions by solving public problem and create public opportunity.
Members of NPSC, academicians, lecturers, student bodies and senior government officials who attended the consultative meeting also voiced their concern and suggestions. Some key points raised included inclusion of grammar, computer science, arithmetic and emphasis to be made on commerce and science subjects as well and proposal for two papers as with UPSC for preliminary test and interview based on personality aptitude and attitude test.

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