On December 14, 2020, MPSC published an advertisement for 328 posts lying vacant under various State Government Departments. Here, I would like to caution the educated unemployed not to feel elated for it will take an eternity before these posts are filled up. For instance, MPSC conducted written exams on December 10, 2020 for posts advertised way back in April 2016. Further, drawing from past experiences, it will take another eternity before results are declared and interviews conducted. For our MPSC, this is not an aberration but the norm. In contrast, the Staff Selection Commission rarely exceeds one year after publication of advertisement to appoint its staff.
The State Bank of India Recruitment Board and the Institute of Bank Personnel Selection take 5-6 months and 7-8 months respectively to complete the entire process of recruitment. The above three Recruitment Agencies always mentioned the exam calendars and stick to such calendars while our MPSC never mentions any exam calendar in any of its advertisements. It appears that MPSC can afford to abdicate its responsibilities towards the unemployed because there is no demand for accountability from the unemployed themselves and from society at large. Our elected representatives and various students’ unions and youth councils cannot be faulted because they have much more weighty issues to pursue.
When it comes to reforms, MPSC is at best a laggard. In this regard, these columns published my letter on May 25, 2018 under the heading,” When will Meghalaya abolish Interviews” drawing attention to a news report which appeared in The Shillong Times dated May 19, 2018 headlined ” Centre slams nine states over slow progress in abolishing job interviews”. The report inter alia mentioned that the Centre censured nine states including Meghalaya for not abolishing oral interviews to Group B (non-gazetted) and to all Group C and D posts in line with what the Central Government has done since January 2016 to bring transparency and fair selection as well as provide a level playing field for job aspirants from all sections and backgrounds. The above Shillong Times report also mentioned that this issue was discussed with the Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries of General Administration Departments of all states at a meeting held on April 22,2016 in New Delhi.
It is noted that almost all States and Union Territories have abolished oral interviews for the mentioned categories of posts consequent to Letter NO> 39020/ 09/ 2015- Esstt (B) dated January 28, 2016 circulated to all States and Union Territories by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. This letter is in the public domain and can be accessed from the said Ministry’s website. Significantly, the above letter also refers to correspondence dated 4th September 2015 and 29th September 2015 from the Secretary ( personnel) of the mentioned Central Ministry addressed to all Chief Secretaries and from the Minister of State addressed to all Chief Ministers requesting them to ensure that no more oral job interviews should be undertaken for the mentioned categories of posts.
Under the above circumstances, it appears that the more things change elsewhere in India, they remain the same here in the Abode of the Clouds and that We The People cannot do anything about it. Can We?
Dampeners at the Jay Sean`s concert
I attended the Jay Sean concert last night and certain things happened which certainly dampened my mood and the mood of all those who attended. First and foremost the security check before and after entering the venue is ludicrous to say the least. There were three levels of security check within a 300 meters radius and the worst part is the third tier of security barely 70 feet from the second tier of security but the idiot who frisked me acted as if the two persons who frisked me earlier had not done their job properly. It is as if the organizers of the event have no clue about how security check is done elsewhere. Even in an airport, where security checks are considered sacrosanct post 9/11, there is only one level of security check!
Secondly the public announcement of the arrival of the Chief Minister at the concert is uncalled for. The concert last night was not a cultural event where a choir or a dance troupe was performing. If it was a cultural event then it will be fine to announce the arrival of the Chief Minister; Meghalaya is not North Korea, where the name of the supreme leader has to be announced at every public event. For goodness`s sake, last night`s concert was a pop concert where an International pop star performed. It is as if the organizers of the event and the Chief Minister himself have no world view.
Thirdly the host of the show had no idea what he was talking about. It painted the organizers and Meghalaya tourism in a bad light. The host introduced Jay Sean as an Indian when actually he`s a British Indian. Indians who are citizens of the USA and England are called Indian Americans and British Indians respectively. He also said that Jay Sean topped the, “Billboard charts around the world”. The Billboard chart is the music chart in the USA. Topping the billboard chart means a singer has made it considering the cut throat competition that exist in the global music industry.
I would like to end this letter on a positive note. In spite of the shortcomings, I would still give props to the organizers for making the event a grand success. There is always room for improvement and hopefully next time the same organizers host another grand event, such types of shortcomings don’t recur.
Politicians as comedians and charlatans
One major observation after reading the newspapers each morning is that the Meghalayan politicians are excellent athletes and comedians too. Athletic in nature as most of them excel in ‘Running down each other.’ Nothing of substance is ever expressed by them. Comedians, because instead of addressing the real issues plaguing the citizens for decades, most of them are unconcerned about the misery that more than 50% of Meghalayans find themselves in. The response of politicians is pathetic and a non- serious. One tried to belittle the electorate by talking of ‘lipstick and powder’ at one of his rallies in Khasi Hills.
For how long are we going to squander our birth-right by allowing ‘these people’ with minimal grey matter and a total lack of conscience to continue to misguide this magnificent state given to us by nature.
2023 is an opportunity for us to identify the wolves in sheep’s clothing and disregard these charlatans who have not thought of anyone else but themselves. Meghalaya has wasted itself for decades with the mal-governance and there is not much light at the end of the tunnel. The only saving grace now is that the State now has the Meghalaya High Court. No one is able to throw sand in the eyes of the venerable judges else we the people are condemned to put up with political shenanigans.