Victims of departmental botch up.


For the past few decades it has been a prevalent practice in some state Offices where the Head of the Department (HOD) has been, at his/her individual capacity, appointing applicants into Grade-IV posts. As HOD, one has every right to exercise such discretion as stipulated under the extant Government Memorandum; however, this prerogative must be exercised with the overall mutual endorsement of a constituted DSC (Departmental Selection Committee) consisting of HOD and other nominated departmental officers of the Office concerned and the decision thereof ought to be conveyed to the respective administrative branches for further vetting. But more often than not, the said DSC is not convened and the HOD takes unilateral decisions in such appointments. In course of time these Grade-IV appointees attain seniority position and the educationally qualified amongst them can be promoted to the post of Superintendent, Registrar etc at the Head Offices. But at the critical juncture of being on the verge of promotion to such posts, some discerning officers are authorized to cross-check the eligibility criteria for promotion of departmental staff and, in the process, find that some of the latter have been initially appointed at the entry level without the recommendations of the DSC and thereby those defaulters are out-rightly denied promotion and their case is set aside even as they are superseded by their junior colleagues.

Recently I have come to know that one such state Government employee who has served in a particular department for more than thirty three years and has a few years to his credit preceding superannuation was denied promotion to the post of Superintendent on the reason stated above and he is reportedly placed under ad-hoc category. My apprehension is that when he will retires whether the office of Accountant General, pension cell, ever deem him fit for pensionery benefits? And it goes without saying that the aggrieved staff must be in inexorable depression and his passion for office-works adversely compromised. Most likely when he was first appointed as Grade-IV staff, he was blissfully unaware of the binding formality of having to come through the endorsement of the DSC. Further, as his letter of appointment was signed by the ex-Director with copy to the office of AG, the appointee concerned accepted it as Gospel truth and on the premise of this contention the latter cannot arguably be held to be at fault.

Hence, in the ultimate analysis, the losers are the concerned department/s and the deprived victim. I would have thought that such a departmental blunder could have been nipped in the bud had the said department in co-ordination with its administrative office adopted a pre-emptive and discreet mechanism in this context before things take a turn for the worse and matters come to this pass. I can only conclude with a fair measure of certitude that there are appointees like him who will suffer the same fate in their turn!

Yours etc.,

Jerome K. Diengdoh,



Party hopping in full swing


The so-called regional parties like UDP, HSPDP, PDF, KHNAM etc., have never really been able to assert their popularity beyond a few constituencies. The report in your newspaper today captioned, “UDP suffers jolt as Umroi Circle dissolved” (ST Feb 11, 2019) is yet another blow to the UDP which is fielding an MP candidate for the Shillong Parliamentary constituency. From what one can gather the central leadership of the UDP is dictatorial and takes unilateral decisions which anger the grass-roots workers. Consultations with those at the primary unites is important since they know the strength and weaknesses of the party. For several decades we have been waiting for a united front among the regional parties so that they can effectively counter the national parties. Instead, more and more regional parties are created and unity seems like a distant dream. I wonder sometimes if the Khasi DNA is at fault because it is so difficult for politicians to come together on common issues that affect the public. The only time they come together is when they see an opportunity to win votes because of the forthcoming elections. The word ‘public service’ is alien to the vocabulary of politicians.

Politics, as your columnist, Toki Blah very presciently put it has become a 5-year business where money is invested and the amount recovered with interests at the end of that 5-year term. People like PN Syiem who rose to fame for standing up to Mukul Sangma, became a Khasi hero and was even compared by a section of the media to U Tirot Singh, the Syiem of Hima Nongkhlaw. They spoke too soon. PN Syiem will soon become a non-entity if he fails to make it to the District Council this time. Syiem has jumped parties and constituencies. Only the naive and uninformed voters would elect him to serve his own vested interests. But yes, Meghalaya is full of such ignorant voters who are lured to vote for money and other material goods. Where is, “ka tip briew tip Blei?” Where are all the Khasi values that we throw up like some old coin only at public rallies?

If this Jaitbynriew does not stop to think and continues to drift into an uncertain future, the state of Meghalaya is doomed. As for the regional parties, they have lost their credibility. No wonder people tend to gravitate towards the national parties which have some discipline and a recognisable leader.

Yours etc.,

MK Syiem,


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