Favouritism in Health Dept

Editor,

The selection of the candidates for MBBS study at different institutions in respect of the seats allotted to the state of Meghalaya for the academic session 2019-20 was declared on August 17 last. In this connection allotment of seats to different institutes was not based on the merit of the candidates based on the NEET performance but was done arbitrarily and at the caprice of the top hierarchy of the Health & Family Welfare Department.

In Meghalaya, the highest rank holder the NEET result were allotted the most inferior medical institutes. In fact the seat allotment should have been done on the basis of the candidates’ performance as substantiated by the NEET ranking and score and also the preferences made by the candidate. But this is not the rule in the case of Meghalaya. Consequently the poor and the non-influential candidates became victims. Their merit was inconsequential. This is because of the nepotism and favouritism by people who are running the Health & Family Welfare Department in collusion with those candidates who always aspire for the best at the cost of the poor, the non-influential candidates who have no godfathers at the top of hierarchy of the concerned department.

Our Health Minister needs to do his homework with regards to the aims and objectives of NEET in order to enable him to guide his department in the most proper manner so that in future the best students are allotted the best and top institutes for MBBS study. It is a shame for the Health Minister to state that his Department has not categorized colleges for the allotment of seats whereas in all the other states and union territories in India, the counseling process is conducted according to the ranking of the students in the NEET exam and they are allocated top government medical colleges. In Meghalaya this system was not followed so as to enable the rich and influential to manipulate the system according to their wish.

In the present scenario our Health & Family Welfare Department instead of moving forward is moving two steps backward. Here merits, talent and hard work are not the criteria for allotment of seats but the “dominant value” is favoritism, partiality, affluence and proximity to the top hierarchy of the health department. In fact the H & FW Dept should come forward and publicly declare what are the main criteria to qualify for MBBS study through our State Govt in order to prevent any favoritism in future and to motivate our own students to work harder. Else our State will be known as the producer of mediocre doctors at the cost of those students have who worked very hard to reach the top.

I hope the authorities concerned will keep in mind that whenever a seat is allotted to any student public money is involved and all the tax payers and the residents of Meghalaya directly or indirectly are responsible for sponsoring the said seat. Therefore it is the obligation of the top hierarchy not to allot any seat on their own sweet will but they should follow due procedure where merit alone is the hallmark.

Everyone knows that the State of Meghalaya functions according to the Indian Constitution but if this undemocratic practice continues in the years to come, the Meghalaya High Court might have to step in to prevent this injustice against those students who are meritorious, talented and hard working.

It is high time for the Health & Family Welfare Department and the Health Minister not to under estimate the undercurrents of anger and displeasure of ordinary citizens. The citizens of Meghalaya expect the Health Minister and his Department to give clarification on two issues. First, why the students at the bottom of the list of NEET Result – 2019 have got admission into the best and top ranking colleges in India? Second, whether from 2020 onwards admission and allotment of MBBS seats will be based on merit in accordance with the performance of the students in the NEET Exam?

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Stop sale of land to other tribals

Editor,

Concerned citizens of the State with a vision for the jaidbynriew (Khasi, Pnar and Garos) wonder if the next generation will survive and if they will have a place to build their homes on or  whether they will have to live in tents like gypsies and shift from place to place when the government decides to destroy their tents and temporary houses. I wonder as to why the demand to bar the sale of landed property to non-tribals is not as vociferous as the demand to bar other tribals from buying land in the State. From time to time the COMSO goes all out for inclusion of ILP in the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act. The words to bar/prevent other tribals from buying land in the State surfaced as the main issue for the safety of the jaidbynriew.

I request all pressure groups to stress on the Government to make it mandatory that agents who sell landed properties should be registered with the Revenue Deptt so that there is a record of the buyers and sellers. The Revenue Deptt, should fix the registration fees that are as high as their profits. The same process should be followed for agents who try and find rented accommodation especially for outsiders whose antecedents they do not know. These agents should be  registered with the Deputy Commissioner of every District. Thereafter the Deputy Commissioner shall inform all the Headmen under the District and make it mandatory for the agents too  to inform the Headman after they have settled the tenant. They should give the details of the house owners.

This process will perhaps put a stop to free entry of outsiders into the State. If there is any foul play by the agents in selling of landed properties or houses and of those agents that find tenants, they shall be responsible and be punished with heavy fine and jail. Most importantly, the headmen along with members of the dorbar should visit the houses for a surprise check of the tenants once in 2 years.

The prescribed forms were scrutinized to carry on the work by the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills, during the period when the undersigned was Acting Rangbah Shnong of Bishnupur Kench’s Trace, Shillong in 2008. Because of the action taken for registration of tenants in the Shnong, I faced lots of challenges and even threatened to resign as Acting Rangbah Shnong. The Executive Committee of my Dorbar Shnong wanted to file an FIR, but on my request not to inconvenience the members of the Dorbar, I decided to relinquish the post of Acting Rangbah Shnong

Yours etc.,

R L Singh Lyngdoh

Shillong – 4

                

Commuters Dilemma

Editor

Being daily commuters between Bishnupur, Laban, Last Stop and Police Bazaar, it is our grievous and unfortunate experience to fall prey, on a regular basis, to the churlish and opportunistic behaviour of cab drivers plying this route. Often, a taxi at the Them Bijoy stand will be seen empty, devoid of passenger or driver, with the latter lurking in nearby shops waiting for an expensive reservation instead of proceeding to ferry passengers who will pay the minimal fare. More obnoxiously, there are drivers at this stand who flatly refuse to transport passengers on the circuit blaming the heavy traffic, which begs the question – why are they stationed there in the first place? The incredulity of these arguments is most obvious when a full taxi booking plea sees drivers crawling out of the woodwork to offer their services, dispelling all such traffic woes in a jiffy.

Adding to the incongruity of the situation, the taxi fare previously fixed at Rs. 10 per head has arbitrarily climbed up to Rs. 15 and even Rs. 20 without any official notification from the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District, who also functions as the Chairman of the Meghalaya Taxi Association. This has created a furore among the frequent commuters comprising mostly of hard working individuals with prudent budgets. It has also been wryly observed that certain taxis have conveniently shortened their routes, complying to take people up to Rhino Point only, instead of going the full distance stipulated in their commercial licenses.

Another problem dogging commuters on this route is the dearth of JNNURM buses and maxi cabs plying up to Bishnupur and Lawsohtun which has empowered the monopolizing policies of these taxi drivers. Serious efforts must therefore be made that such services are made accessible in these areas.

As an honest, law-abiding citizens, though harassed and heckled, resorting to a violent recourse will only exacerbate this deplorable affair. Elected representatives, law enforcers and concerned authorities having cognizance of this situation are therefore responsible for bringing these errant taxi drivers to book and dare we say, confiscating their licenses if the recalcitrant attitude persists.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

(Concerned cab commuters of Bishnupur, Laststop and Laban)

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