ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) just cannot seem to catch a break.

After being in the receiving end of criticism from over 22,000 aspirants hoping to crack into the prestigious state civil services last year, a section of candidates have now levelled new allegations against the autonomous body.

Back in November last year, 22,599 candidates had sat for the preliminary examination to make the cut for just 105 posts. However, soon after the examination was held, candidates claimed that questions for the general studies paper were copied from a previous examination of Pakistan’s civil services recruiting body.

The outcry that followed led to an inquiry and rescheduling of the examination which was held this past Sunday on July 29 under heavily regulated conditions, including mobile data services being suspended across the state for the duration of the examination that lasted for more than six hours.

While the state government took measures to ensure that no unfair means were employed by the candidates, the Commission isn’t in the clear yet.

A section of candidates who had opted for commerce as their optional subject have claimed that out of the 125 questions that were set for the subject, 64 of them were “not from the prescribed syllabus”.

The candidates, who have filed a formal complaint with the Commission, said that the 64 questions “were prepared from the mains syllabus which is totally different from the prelims syllabus”.

Speaking to The Citizen, newly-appointed chairperson of the Commission, Nipo Nabam, confirmed that a complaint has been received. He also informed that another similar complaint has been made by a section of candidates who had opted for civil engineering as their optional paper.

Nabam said that the grievances of the candidates will be referred to the panels that had set the question papers before results are declared.

He also said that such issues will keep recurring until the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is introduced.

After last year’s controversy, the Commission had sought that the state government introduce the CSAT format but was withheld after an appeal was made by candidates to bring in the new system from the next examination.

The Commission has had a track record of unwittingly courting controversy.

In 2015, candidates had sat on relay hunger strikes to protest the leak of a question paper that had delayed the announcement of results. One of the candidates, Ujum Perying, had appeared for the examination in September of 2014 and began a 72-hour hunger strike after more than three months of agitation.