Wednesday, July 24, 2024

MBOSE should be vigilant against pirated books


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Over a month ago, a major crackdown in Guwahati uncovered the alarming presence of pirated NCERT books in Assam. The joint operation by the police and NCERT targeted devious dealers in Pan Bazar, Guwahati, unmasking a racket that had been flooding the market with counterfeit books. These fake publications, lacking hallmarks and watermarks, are typically poor in quality. A host of unscrupulous publishers from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are behind this influx of duplicate books in the Northeast, luring book dealers with higher trade discounts.
Considering this situation, the Government of Meghalaya must not sit idle but remain vigilant. There is every likelihood that book dealers in the state may also fall prey to such fraudulent publishers. Proactive measures are essential to prevent a similar issue from cropping up within the state. Usually, such illicit deals come off in secrecy and gradually become widespread. It is imperative that the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE) promptly issue strict guidelines and seek the full support of all book traders in Shillong, Tura, and other remote areas to send these unscrupulous publishers packing.
Pirated books not only undermine the integrity of education but also result in significant revenue losses for our esteemed MBOSE. It’s not just NCERT and CBSE books that are affected; pirated textbooks from renowned publishers like Oxford, Orient Longman, McMillan, Pitambar, and Allied Publications were also found circulating freely in certain areas of Garo Hills some years ago. Fortunately, a tip-off from a vigilant publisher in Shillong led to the arrest of the gangs involved in these illicit activities. During the last book fair in Shillong, several stalls were found openly selling best-seller titles for Rs 100 all pirated. Isn’t this a kick in the stomach for the creative writers who rely on royalties from publishers for subsistence?
The Government must adopt all measures necessary to uphold academic integrity. Let’s not allow rapacious counterfeiters to pull the wool over our eyes any longer.
Yours etc.,
Salil Gewali

Politics is dynamic; politicians should adapt

The front page news “Kharlukhi attributes NPP’s loss to quota policy issue” (ST June 21, 2024) made interesting reading. The assessment of WR Kharlukhi, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha on the recent Lok Sabha election in Meghalaya is rational and objective. I do not disagree with him that “politics keeps on changing.” Politics is inherently dynamic and constantly evolving because political agenda changes based on societal needs, economic conditions and global events. Leaders adapt their policies to address current challenges. As populations grow and diversify, political dynamics shift. New generations bring fresh perspectives, altering the political landscape. The digital age has transformed communication, campaigning and governance. Social media, data analytics and online activism play pivotal roles. International relations impact domestic policies. Elections lead to new leaders with distinct vision. Their decisions shape policies, laws and institutions. Hence politics is like a river always flowing, adapting and influencing our lives.
Yours etc;
VK Lyngdoh

Humane labour laws need of the hour

Apropos the editorial, “Hindujas and justice” (ST, June 24, 2024), India must learn from Switzerland, the number one country at present in the Human Development Index. Recently, a Swiss court sentenced two members of a fabulously wealthy family to four and half years in prison after finding them guilty of exploiting domestic workers. The labour and human rights of the workers in India must similarly be safeguarded.
The National Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the Union labour and employment ministry on allegations against an e-commerce giant in Haryana’s Manesar. The allegations include forcing workers not to take even toilet or water breaks until they complete unloading packages from six trucks, each 24 feet long! How long will it take to complete an enquiry and take appropriate action against the Company? Should the customers keep on buying goods from such Company before it comes clean? Recently, in Bengaluru, the same e-commerce giant posted a casual note, “Sorry to know about the inconvenience,” after it sent to a couple a highly venomous cobra instead of the item they had ordered. Given the disregard for human rights, this is a natural outcome.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,

Delayed Grade IV SAD Results & Irregularities in Lokayukta Recruitment

I am writing to express my concern regarding two critical issues pertaining to the delayed declaration of results for the Grade IV posts in the Secretariat Administration Department (SAD) conducted by the MPSC and the recent examinations conducted by the Meghalaya Lokayukta.
Firstly, there has been an inexcusable delay in the declaration of results for the Grade IV posts of the Secretariat Administration examinations conducted by the MPSC. This examination was held as early as January, and yet, as we approach June, candidates remain in limbo with no updates on the outcome. Such delays not only cause undue stress and uncertainty among applicants but also raise questions about the efficiency and transparency of the evaluation process.
Secondly, regarding the recent examinations for the LDA and Peon posts under the Meghalaya Lokayukta, there are multiple discrepancies that demand immediate attention. The initial advertisement clearly outlined specific quotas for different tribes — 1 position for Unreserved, and 1 for Khasi/Jaintia for LDA roles, and 1 position each for Unreserved and Garo and 2 positions for Khasi/Jaintia, for Peon posts, and yet during the examination, candidates were not provided with a section to indicate their tribe category. This oversight raises serious concerns about how the authorities intend to accurately determine eligibility and allocate positions according to the advertised quotas leading to potential confusion and unfair selection.
Furthermore, there were inconsistencies between the syllabus mentioned in the admit card and the actual examination paper. For LDA posts, candidates were surprised to encounter a substantial portion of General Knowledge questions, despite the admit card indicating only English, Aptitude and Arithmetic (with only seven Arithmetic questions). Similarly, for Peon posts, the exam included General Knowledge questions instead of the expected Aptitude section. Such discrepancies not only disadvantage candidates who prepared based on the provided syllabus but also undermine the fairness of the examination process. It is imperative that recruitment examinations adhere strictly to the advertised criteria to ensure fairness and equal opportunity for all applicants. The failure to collect information on tribe categories during the examination and the deviation from advertised syllabi raises serious doubts about the integrity and transparency of these recruitment processes.
These issues highlight a lack of coordination and transparency in the examination process, which undermines the candidates’ efforts and trust in the system. I urge the authorities responsible to take immediate corrective actions, including transparent communication with candidates regarding the evaluation process and ensuring that future examinations adhere strictly to the advertised criteria. This will not only restore confidence in the recruitment process but also uphold the principles of fairness and transparency that are essential for public trust
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request,
Via email


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