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3 Jul 2017

In Darjeeling, 17 of 361 appear for state exam

Tamaghna Banerjee| TNN | Jul 3, 2017, Darjeeling: A 24-year-old MCom graduate walked 16km from Rangbul to Darjeeling on Sunday morning to take a public service examination after the indefinite Hills strike left transport services paralyzed.
Chiranjeet Sarkar was among 17 out of 361 candidates who made it to the venue of the West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service Recruitment Examination at Darjeeling Government College, around 3km from Chowkbazar.
The exam in-charge said no candidate from Kalimpong or Kurseong could make it to the centre. Kalimpong is about 50km from Darjeeling, Kurseong nearly 35km.
"As the strike was on, the government had arranged for an optional exam centre in Siliguri and informed examinees over text message. But even there, the turnout was low and those who came were mostly from Siliguri and Alipurduar areas," the official said.
Chiranjeet left his home in Rangbul at 7am and walked 16km with an umbrella. "I had no option but to walk. No car agreed to ply. I am glad I made it on time," he said.
Some of his friends who live outside Darjeeling were unable to appear.
Standing alongside him was Shraddha Golay, a BCom graduate who walked 11km from Ghoom. "My brother came with me. He carried my bag and the umbrella when it rained as I flipped through the reference books while walking," she said. Shraddha was five minutes late for the exam that started at noon, but the examiners allowed her in, given the low turnout. BCom graduate Komal Limbu, a resident of Chhota Ging, walked 10km to the venue.
According to figures collected from the two centres, only 17 of the 361 candidates in this part of the state made it to Darjeeling while 159 made it to Siliguri. The total turnout of 176, less than 50%, is among the lowest ever for a white-collar government job exam held in the hills in recent months. At the Darjeeling college, 10 rooms were allotted for the examinees. But seeing the turnout, all students were put in one room.

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