MCS Examination quandary

Editor,

It was interesting to read the article “No Timeline for declaring MCS Results” (ST August 8, 2020. As an observer, one agrees completely with the contention that the MPSC’s performance is out of sync with the Union Public Service Commission and other State Public Service Commissions. The Constitutional body has, more often than not, let down the thousands of educated and meritorious job-seeking youth of the state.

Therefore in accordance with this, as far as the declaration of the results of the Mains Examination of the Meghalaya Civil Service (Junior Grade), is concerned, it needs to be reminded that the matter is sub-judice and is at the moment pending in the High Court. Judging by news reports in this paper, it appears that the matter of results of the Preliminary Examinations of MCS (Junior Grade) would not have gone to court had the MPSC followed their own notification for the said examination. It is thus understandable that changing the rules of a game (without even communication of the same) after the game has started will invite litigation.

Thus, given the situation, one feels that the bright, young minds of the state, especially the ones who have appeared for the MCS Mains Examination, should seek transparency and an objective process of recruitment not based on opaque and post-facto decision making. In relation to this, it is also worth mentioning  for all genuine candidates of the MCS Mains Examination, that as part of Standard Operating Procedure (with the intention of preventing fraud and insertion of answer sheets post the actual examination), answer booklets of public examinations should carry the name of the concerned PSC/Board and unique serial numbers. However, during the MCS Mains Examinations conducted in January, 2020, the Answer Booklets were just plain paper sheets stapled together. The plain sheets did not have the name of the MPSC and No Serial Numbers were assigned to the Answer Booklets including the extra sheets. All that was attached to the Answer Booklets was a small sheet where the candidates were required to enter their Roll Numbers and other details.

After the results of the Civil Services Examination 2019, conducted by the UPSC were declared on August 4, 2020, many concerned citizens had rightly lamented the fact that candidates from Meghalaya were not being able to pass the examination. Perhaps one of the reasons for this could be because the State PSC takes steps that are detrimental to the preparation of candidates from Meghalaya. In contrast to the syllabus for the MCS (Junior Grade) declared in 2017, the syllabus for the MPS (Junior Grade) declared in 2019 is modeled on the UPSC Civil Services Syllabus AND Pattern that is pre-2011. This means that serious candidates preparing for the State Civil Service examinations have to face a different syllabus and pattern for the Civil Service Examinations conducted by UPSC. This sounds a death knell to the state’s hopes for having its children clear the UPSC Civil Service Examinations.

Furthermore, this move by the MPSC negates all the efforts of the State Government through various scholarship schemes for aspirants appearing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination. This results in wastage of scarce government resources and is a classic case of one arm of the government negating the efforts of another part of the government.

Thus one humbly re-iterates that rather than push for the results of an examination controversially conducted, the need of the hour is to revamp and restructure the MPSC to ensure that the recruitment process is fair and transparent. A system of checks and balances and SOPs are required to prevent subjective decision making that amounts to tinkering with the process of recruitment.

One is certain that future civil servants whose real intention is to serve the people of the state would wish for the same.

Yours etc.

Name withheld on request

Via email

Covid protocol violators must be reined in

Editor,

It is stressful to have violators of Covid protocols repeatedly at a time when we can ill afford it. After the 40 plus people who attended the marriage party, now the pharmacist has joined the bandwagon. In spite of being one who knows the protocols yet he has not only put his wife but many more under great danger by violating the quarantine norms. Don’t these people have any sense of responsibility and fear for their loved ones? What could have been the ridiculous urge to do things that would cause harm?  In the press conference, Dr Aman War on being asked what sort of action would be taken against the pharmacist, said that action will be taken but for now the man has to first regain his health and be cured of the disease. Conscientious thinking indeed! A primary concern is to apprehend the man, put him under strict vigilance and do contract tracing for he had not only dropped his wife to the PHC where she works but he had also visited a few places like the ATM. Imagine how many more may have visited the same ATM after him. We must all understand that this is not the time to be callous and casual about the deadly virus. We must remember that COVID 19 is a pandemic that has taken a toll on the mental and physical health of people. It’s a pandemic that has brought people to their knees; physically, mentally, socially, economically. At the risk of sounding harsh one strongly feels that violators must be taken to task in order to deter others from doing the same. For the lack of sense in some, the majority cannot suffer.

Yours etc.,

Jenniefer Dkhar,

Via email

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