Total and shameful misuse of power
There is an old hit by Ernie Ford titled “16 tons”. I believe many old timers will remember it. The 2nd stanza of the song if changed a bit would have fitted the current political scenario of Meghalaya like a glove. The song should have been something like this – “You got 40 MLAs , what do you get/ An MDA Govt , and deeper in debt/St Peters don’t you call me cause I can’t come/ I owe my soul to a business oriented scum”.
I mean just look at the direction this coalition Government is heading towards in pursuit of its non-existent Common Minimum Programme. In just three years it has become quite apparent that the common minimum goal of most of the MDA ministers is how to get rich at the expense of the state. First there was the illegal mining of coal. Members of this Government made crores by simply turning a blind eye to the unlawful transportation of this banned mineral and if those in the know are to be believed, the Meghalaya Police , from top to bottom are largely being deployed to collect on behalf of the political masters.
Then came the ADB loan for smart meters where millions of dollars of ADB loan have been siphoned off. If reports are to be believed money is paid for non-activated smart meters. Now who will repay this loan and how will it be repaid if it is being deliberately misused. The burden of repaying the bad loan will now fall on the shoulders of our children. (another day older and deeper in debt).
Then comes the Social Welfare scam on Mid-Day meal cereals being diverted to private warehouses in Assam. It seems people have already forgotten about it. The guilty will never be found since the Minister in Charge of Social Welfare has claimed ignorance of the whole outrage. Now who will ever question the integrity of our Ministers? Both the police and the bureaucrats obey their directions as if they came from God himself. In the process the sale of the state and its assets go merrily on.
Yet to be exposed is the rumour that this Government is bending over backwards in its attempt to please a powerful minister in the cabinet who apparently has entered politics simply to enhance his family business. I am speaking about the inauguration of the foundation stone for the Khadi Board office complex at Barik point. More than 2 acres of open space in the middle of a congested city will be sacrificed to accommodate a Khadi Board office with a total staff strength of hardly 30 people. The structure will be financed by a loan but contract to build will be given to a Construction Co owned by the minister. It makes no sense. Nothing has been said as to how this loan is to be serviced. Again our children will have to bear the consequences of this Government’s folly.
Then there is the God man Baba Ramdev, his Patanjali Co and the evil designs to convert the NE into a palm oil plantation. It seems the MDA has gone totally blind and deaf to the environmental threats the proposed Palm Oil plantations pose for Meghalaya. So what if anything happens; it will happen only 20 -30 years down the line. Again, it’s our children who will pay for our recklessness. Political power is sought simply to enhance business and not to serve the people and from media reports one of the polluting coke factories at Sutnga is in the name of another minister of this Government. No wonder the State Pollution Control Board has acted more like a State Pollution Enhancing Board. So much for political power and for governance. Well, truly we all owe our souls to business-oriented scums.
Tamil Nadu drops NEET exam
The Tamil Nadu Government has passed Anti-NEET Bill 2021 in the state assembly to ban NEET exam in the state. The decision to pass the bill was taken in the wake of the death of a medical aspirant. With the passing of the bill, students would get admission to under-graduate medical degree courses based on the qualifying HSC +2 marks or class 12 marks. Tamil Nadu has been in strong opposition to NEET since its recommendation in 2013.
The Tamil Nadu government ‘s move to ban the exam raises questions about the suitability of it for admission to medical courses. Strong arguments have been put forward against the need of conducting NEET. One, NEET is an assault on the autonomy of private, unaided institutions. Two, it is an example for over- centralisation of education. Three, the rights of unaided, private and minority institutions are violated. Four, with the introduction of NEET, and similar national exams, coaching institutions have prospered. As most of them are in cities and the fees are very high, poorer students from rural areas face a disadvantage. Five, there are variations in the syllabus of CBSE and state boards. Six, leaking of NEET paper twice raises doubts about its fairness and transparency. Seven, errors creep into NEET translation questions. Eight, as NEET does not guarantee competition and equality of opportunities, it does not promote merit.
Considering all these facts, it is of great importance to arrive at a decision whether the imposition of NEET is fair. If all state governments conduct admission to medical courses in fair and transparent ways, the imposition of NEET would be unreasonable.