Interviews of aspiring constables yield howlers

The Indian Air Force chief is called air hostess. The battle of Plassey was fought in 1984. Maharashtra is located to the north of West Bengal. Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan are the northern districts of West Bengal. The Dronacharya award is given to littérateurs.

Confused? These are some of the answers given by graduates and Higher Secondary-passed youths during the interview for the post of constables in West Bengal Police.

A senior IPS officer of the West Bengal Police Directorate, who interviewed prospective candidates, said some interviewees had told him that the district magistrate "sits at the thana office".

"I asked a candidate, a history graduate, who was the founder of the Jain religion. He replied Gautam Buddha," said a DIG-level officer who was in charge of taking interviews of a large number of candidates in Nadia.

"So poor is the general knowledge of some candidates that I was astounded. To a question, a graduate in defence studies replied that the air hostess is the chief of the air force. I have penned down such answers in my diary," the officer said.

The state government had notified 4,767 vacancies for male constables in West Bengal Police, for which a staggering 3,93,054 youths had applied. Of them 69,170 qualified for the written examination and finally, 9,769 successful candidates were called for interview. The training for the first batch is complete and they will be posted after Durga puja. The second batch constables is undergoing training.

"A candidate was asked to name the district to the east of Nadia. He replied Nepal and Bhutan. Another candidate answered that Maharashtra is located on the northern side of West Bengal," said the officer.

"One candidate said there are four district magistrates in each district. Some did not know the name of their own Assembly constituencies. An arts graduate said Dronacharya award is given to eminent personalities from the field of literature," the officer, who interviewed candidates in Nadia and Murshidabad, said.

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