Concern over ‘only English’ question paper for TNPSC exam to recruit Child Protection Officers

The Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission’s recent notification for recruitment of District Child Protection Officers (DCPO) has triggered concerns, mainly over a clause that the questions for one paper of the examination will be set only in English. The clause is in contrast to the notifications issued earlier this year for jobs in Group IV, Group II and Group II-A services which said the examinations will have question papers in Tamil and English. 

A section of aspirants has also raised concern over the list of degrees mentioned in the required educational qualification, which according to it was limiting. 

According to the notification, the examination, to be conducted online, will have two papers. The first with 200 questions can be taken in any of the five subjects mentioned as required qualification: sociology, social work, psychology, child development or criminology. The notification, issued earlier this month, said these questions will be set only in English. 

The second will have two parts — the first being the mandatory Tamil eligibility test and the second on general studies, aptitude and mental ability. The latter will have questions in Tamil and English. 

A. D. Revathy, former member of the Tamil Nadu State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), said it was bizarre that the questions would be set in English alone for the first paper. “When the government recently introduced the mandatory Tamil eligibility test in competitive exams for government jobs, how can the TNPSC say the questions [for one part] will be set only in one language,” she asked. 

Cannot apply

An aspirant, speaking anonymity, said the list of degrees given as ‘educational qualification’ was limited. “It is strange that Criminology is included, but not Law. Similarly, sociology has been included. However, a bachelors in education is not,” he added. 

Some aspirants complained that they were unable to apply if they held a postgraduate degree in one of the listed degrees, but an undergraduate degree in another. They said the online platform for application allowed them to proceed with the process only if their undergraduate degree was among the listed areas. 

“I have completed masters in social work, but hold an undergraduate degree in law. I cannot apply even though I have worked extensively in the field of child rights,” said an aspirant. 

Interestingly, the notification said a ‘degree’ in one of the five listed fields was the required qualification while preference would be given to those holding postgraduate degrees in these fields.

Higher officials from TNPSC could not be reached for a comment on Sunday despite multiple attempts. 

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