After waiting for 9 months Ministry of Tourism organized tour guide exam in August but they didn’t want everyone to participate in the exam so they sent a letter to all the applicants before one week of exam saying to deposit domicile certificate issued by court in Gwalior which was just next to impossible because court takes more than a week to issue it. More than half of the applicants could not participate in the exam, somehow I was able to manage it and participated in the exam. They thought that this way will be able to reduce the number of applicants but they could not succeed.
All the applicants who could not participate in the exam sued Government in High Court of Delhi and court ordered Tourism Ministry to organize exam again for the applicants who could not participate. So finally all the applicants participated in the exam but right after this exam they sued government again saying that first exam was easier than second one and they were demanding to organize a exam again for all the applicants. But I am sure government could not do this because if they do this then first batch applicants would sue government again.
Now they can not declare result due to these two cases. There is one another case pending in High Court of Jaipur against the previous exam which was filed about 5 years ago and it makes me think that may be it will take another 5-6 years to declare this time exam result. Commonwealth Games are only in 2010 and it doesn’t seem to me that Government will be able to train guides by then. They have to get rid of all the cases, then admission process, classes, tour, I am sure they will not be able to train the guides.
India is going to host commonwealth games in 2010 and Indian Government wants to prepare 1000 tour guides for that event. I had also applied to get a tour guide license for North India last year in November. I was supposed to participate in a written exam and if I qualify that then a interview and if I pass the interview then 3 months training which includes classes and a tour of monuments with a professor. I was told that the exam will be held in February but it took almost 9 months.
Finally after waiting for a long time I got a admit card to participate in tour guide exam. But there was again some problem, they sent me admit card with a letter, right before one week of the exam, saying to submit domicile certificate issued by court within next one week in Gwalior which was impossible. Because if I apply for domicile certificate then court needs more than a week to issue it. I contacted tourism office but they said that it was not their fault but postage department’s fault. They said that they had posted the letter one month ago but postage department was late delivering it.
I contacted my advocate but he also seemed helpless to me because there was strike of advocates going on in Benares. By the way I gave all the documents to my advocate to see if he could get me a domicile certificate. I waited for 3 days but advocates were still on strike and it started seeming to me that I would not be able to participate in the exam. Then I contacted my brother’s friend who was already doing training in the same institute where I was supposed to submit the documents.
He said that there will be no problem if I bring my passport or some other residential proof. He said that Government was not hoping for more than 20,000 applicants but more than 50,000 applicants had applied that is why they sent that letter to everyone, just to cut down the number of applicants. I contacted Institute again asking if it was possible to submit some other residential proof instead of domicile certificate and again the said No.
Finally I decided to go to Gwalior with the documents and newspaper cutting that said about strike of advocates in Benares. I reached Gwalior, met my brother’s friend and we went to the institute. First they were not agree to except my documents but after a big argument the took my ration card, voter id card and driving license. I was still not sure if I would be able to participate in the exam which was after a week. I came back to Delhi to my brother’s home and stayed there for one week.
Finally It was my exam date and my exam center was in Delhi. I went there with my brother’s wife who had also applied for the same exam. I was a bit worried seeing the applicants list but wow! it worked, I saw my name in the list, it was a big relief for me. I gave the exam, questions were quiet easy than I was expecting. I had thought that exam would be very tough but there was nothing like that. I saw few students in my class room asking answers to other students, I had never hoped for that.