BENGALURU: Over 2,200 Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) aspirants, who wrote their main exam in February 2021 to be in contention for the coveted posts, are still waiting for their results.
The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC), which conducts KAS exams, has held them only four times in the last ten years. The irregular schedule in conducting the exams and the delay in announcing the results deprive KAS aspirants of opportunities, as a general merit candidate can only make five attempts before crossing the age limit of 35 years.
The KPSC conducted KAS exams in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2020. Unlike the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), KPSC does not issue the notification for exams every year. Also, the entire process, including conducting prelims and mains, and interviews, are unduly delayed.
Last time that the KPSC issued an exam notification was in January 2020 for 106 posts for which prelims were held in August 2020. Over 1.67 lakh candidates took the exams, and of them, around 2,200 were selected to write the main exams, which were conducted in February 2021. “It’s been 15 months,” one of the candidates, not willing to be identified, told The New Indian Express.
The candidate said that when they appear for the exams for the first time, they will be in their early 20s. “KPSC issues the notification once every two or three years. If we cannot clear exams in the first attempt, the next chance will be only after two to three years. Since there is an age limit of 35 years for general category and 38 years for other backward class aspirants, we get very few chances. Also, there is a limit of five attempts for general category and seven for OBC aspirants,” the candidate pointed out.
Another aspirant, who has already made two attempts, said he took KAS mains in February 2021, while IAS main exams were held a month previous to that. “While we are still waiting for our results, those who wrote IAS exams got their results and are selected too. Even the next IAS exam batch wrote their main exams and are almost in the final stages of selection. When UPSC with around 6 lakh candidates conducts exams successfully, why can’t KPSC,” the candidate asked. Officials blame the delay on the 2015 exams where some candidates approached the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT).
Many quit private jobs to prepare for KASa exams
Some candidates approached the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) alleging that answers were tampered with to favour a few candidates as it was a digital valuation. Candidates pointed out that while earlier private agencies developed the software, now the National Informatics Centre does it. “Why compromise our future just because earlier batches had issues,” he questioned. Many candidates quit their private jobs to prepare for KAS exams. Now they are depressed as they can neither go back to their old jobs nor are the results announced.
Former chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, who is heading the Karnataka Administrative Reforms Commission, said the government has decided to do away with optional papers and to introduce a common paper which will reduce the time taken to complete the entire KAS examination and selection process. “It will be streamlined in the coming days,” he said.