MPSC needs revamping

The Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) has come under flak times without number for acts of omission and commission ever since it was established. In the past, relatives of those with political connections have got through the Meghalaya Civil Services (MCS) examinations while some who have worked diligently found themselves jettisoned from the list of successful candidates. This is upsetting for the aspirational youth that have prepared for months, sometimes years to appear for this prestigious examination. The results for the MCS exams which took off with the preliminaries in August 2018, followed by the mains in January this year, are yet to be announced. Does this not create a crisis of confidence in the aspirants? What does this say of the Government of the day? That it does not take the MCS examinees and the examination seriously! The fact that every Chairperson to the Commission is not appointed after due process of search and selection by a distinguished panel is itself flawed. Chairpersons of State Public Service Commissions ought to be persons who have distinguished themselves in their respective professions and have a proven track record of integrity. This alone will restore the credibility of the Commissions.

It is a sad commentary on Meghalaya that every examination conducted, whether it be to recruit teachers in primary schools, or policemen or civil servants has never been free of controversy. The examination for selection of primary school teachers in 2009 ended up in a scam when it was revealed that the names of successful candidates was overwritten by names of those that did not qualify after having used white ink as a poor cover up. As many as 506 lower primary school teachers in Meghalaya have lost their jobs because of this scam. It’s another matter that when the facts of the case point very clearly to the then Education Minister, she is yet to be penalized, whereas in other states, ministers involved in similar scams are serving jail term. This is the difference between how the law operates in Meghalaya and in other states. Punishment for wrongdoing is a very rare exception. That is why transgression even in a matter of selection of teachers who will mould impressionable minds has not been spared from manipulative tactics of politicians. How do we expect excellence in education in Meghalaya when the incompetent are selected over their meritorious peers? Apart from being disheartening it also turns young job seekers cynical.

The MPSC is now without a captain to steer it. The last incumbent retired in May this year. A successor should have been thought of a few months before so that there is no vacuum. However, there is yet hope that the Government will appoint a person worth the dignified position of Chairperson, MPSC.

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