Errors in MPPSC 2018 Answer Key: No Lessons Learnt for Five Years

According to the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC), Jawaharlal Nehru coined the slogan ‘Quit India.’ However, history books will tell you that it was actually Yusuf Meher Ali.

This is just one of the 15 instances of wrong answers in the answer key provided for the MPPSC 2018 prelims which were conducted on 18 February.

15 Wrong Answers in the MPPSC Key

The online test that comprises 100 questions has 15 wrong answers in the key released by the commission on 21 February.

Look at some of the incorrect options that showcases gross negligence of the concerned authorities:

Candidates Cry Foul

It was Bhagwat Dangi’s third attempt at the MPPSC. He has been preparing for civil services since 2013. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district, Bhagwat says that such inadequacies have, in fact, become the norm.

"It’s the meritorious students who are hurt the most. Now if these questions are excluded from the question paper, I will be out of the race." - Bhagwat Dangi, MPPSC 2018 aspirant

Another candidate, Anil Tripathi, who has been preparing for the civil services for the last two years, is angry at the ‘unprofessional’ way in which such a prestigious exam is conducted. Anil, who holds an MBA degree and left a job in Gurugram to try his luck in competitive exams, feels ‘cheated’ on being asked to pay Rs 100 per question for raising objections against the answer key.

As per a notification by the MPPSC, a committee will probe the matter only when they receive sufficient number of objections against a single question in the exam paper. With 15 wrong answers in the key provided by the MPPSC, that comes to Rs 1,500 per candidate.

"When we called at the office of the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission, they told us to file an objection. At first, they (MPPSC) commit mistakes and then they expect us to pay for it. We’ve already paid Rs 570 as exam fee and now must bear an additional burden of Rs 1,500. The only option left before us is that of filing a PIL." - Anil Tripathi, MPPSC 2018 aspirant

Mentors at coaching centres who help candidates such as Bhagwat Dangi and Anil Tripathi in their preparation for exams are concerned about the fallout of this incident on the MPPSC Mains scheduled for July.

"Human error can result in 1-2 percent mistakes but how can the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission justify 15-20 percent mistakes? It’s injustice for candidates who are made to go through this kind of mental stress. This will in turn impact preparation for the Mains which is a few months away." - Narendra Singh Somvanshi, founder & director, Kautilya Academy (Indore)

In a letter sent to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Governor Anandiben Patel and the MPPSC exam controller, students have demanded an explanation for such irregularities.

"We are compelled to raise questions at the way the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission functions with mistakes evident in the answer key. It’s this Commission only which is entrusted with conducting exam for filling prestigious posts like Deputy Collector and such instances raise questions on the integrity of an entire institution." - Letter written by MPPSC candidatesBoard Has Been ‘Deleting’ Questions Since 2012

Documents accessed by The Quint show a pattern in errors creeping into the answer keys year after year only to be ‘deleted’ later. In a notification issued by the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission on 22 March 2017, one question had been deleted in the modified answer key after objections were raised by students regarding the same.

Similarly, in 2016, four questions were deleted in the modified answer key issued later; in 2015, five questions were deleted; in 2014 again, three questions were deleted and in 2012, fifteen questions were deleted in the final answer key.

As far as 2018 is concerned, we still don’t know about the future course of action as the exam controller Poonam Chand Yadav didn’t take our calls. We didn’t receive any response to an email as well at the time of filing this story. With nearly 3 lakh candidates appearing for MPPSC 2018, every single mark is crucial for aspirants who are badly hit when certain questions are removed from the paper for no fault of theirs.

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