(Calling for CBI probe or enquiry by a Judicial Commission)
by L. Lalit Singh
The news of rampant mark-tampering by way of destroying the answer scripts of all aspirant candidates of the Primary Teachers written test examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education through bureaucratic bungling and corruption have been haunting and letting loose “the reign of Terror”, disturbing the minds of the people of Manipur for the last 5 years or so since 2006 onwards. Thus Manipur has become perils of a republic of scandals. Decategorisation and reservation norms are flouted in violation of all existing statutory recruitment rules and regulations of recruitment procedures. This is not only a very disgraceful and unjudicious crime, committed by the appointing corrupt-maniac authorities of the Govt., but also an unpardonable sin which is sinner than sin. Corruption is eating into the vitals of the state enfeebling and crimping law and orders of the state. The cancer of corruption has alarmingly spread to an era of big-bucks corruption as a system of arbitrary environmental stoppages and clearances, has taken the place of the old “Licence-permit raj” when those at the helm of administration remain wedded to grand corruption, the peons, clerks or traffic police cannot be singled out for taking small bribes. In fact, it is the self-perpetuating cycle of corruption at all Govt. levels—that has turned internal security into “India’s Achilles heel”. “A fish rots from the head down”. When the head is putrid, the body politic cannot be healthy. Manipur confronts several pressing security threats. But only one of them— administrative corruption—pauses an existential threat to the state, which in reality has degenerated into a republic of mega-scandals. It is the institutionalized corruption in high office that is eviscerating the state. India ranks among the top countries whose stolen national wealth is stashed away in Swiss Bank accounts. As yet, no Indian politician has ever been convicted and hanged for waging such war on the state.
Now coming to the points of discussion, out of 58,685 candidates appeared, only 5322 were declared to have passed and qualified. Education Directorate(S) had collected Rs.21,47,800/- as application/ Examinations fee from the aspiring candidates of Primary Teachers. In the original relevant advertisement there were about 1800 vacant positions of Primary Teachers for recruitment.
The exact marks secured individually by 5322 successful candidates as per declared written test result, in order of merit, should have been published black and white on white paper to ensure maintain crystal-clear transparency in its subsequent process for appointment. In the said Examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education under the guidance/ supervision of the Directorate of Education (S), Govt. of Manipur on 22nd December 2006 openly, and secretly on 10th and 28th January 2007, for which the result was declared on 16th April, 2007. Thereafter, viva-voce was conducted from 6th February, 2009 upto the last week of October 2009, spreading over 9 months taken altogether. Hence the gap from the declaration of written test Exam. (i.e. 16th April, 2007) and viva-voce period (i.e. starting from 6th April 2009 upto the last week of Oct. 2009) after a gap of about 3 years.
Everybody gets shocked and surprised to know when the so called recommended list of 1413 (including waiting list) candidate’s names were published in Huiyen Lanpao Daily (both in English and Manipuri version) for 7 days spreading from 24lh to 30th June, 2010 under the signature and issuance of an order of Shri. M. Harekrishna, the then Director of Education (S) dated, the 22nd April, 2010 after a lapse of about 4 years, counting from the date of advertisement and initial necessary processes etc.
Now again the Education Department, Govt. of Manipur has declared to have qualified and recommended 1566 candidates (excluding Hindi Teachers posts) for appointment as Primary Teachers, the break-up of which is as follows:-
General—712; ST—441; SC—28; OBC (Meitei) —185; OBC (Pangal) —57; the total of which is 1423 and in the waiting list; General—72; ST—44; SC—3; OBC (Meitei) —19; OBC (Pangal) —1; Physically challenged—4, the total of which is 143. This grand total number of selected candidates comes to 1566 (1423+143=1566). Again, out of 712 of the so-called General category, there are 85 candidates (i.e.ST— 44; Pangal—26; and SC—15) being included and benefitted. Hence, 712—85 means 627 candidates only in the General category counting with OBC. The candidates in the general category suffer and loses doubly. Whereas ST (441 + 44)= 485 which is 61% without counting 44 (ST) candidates simultaneously included in the General category, and thus enjoying double benefits/ chances /privileges through miscalculation by some irresponsible bureaucrats. ST reserved quota exceeds 61% (in violation / contravention of all India Reservation norms of 33% only) in both waiting list and general category which needs immediate rectification with corrective ways and means. This is fantastic and unjudicious. It is not P.C. Sarkar’s magic circus. Facts and justice cannot and should not be twisted and manipulated at any cost. Such cases should be dealt with an iron-hand. The Hon’ble Chief Minister should not succumb to the dictates of IAS/ MCS officers who are paid employees subordinate to him.
The High powered committee constituted by the State Govt. to look into the controversy surrounding the DPC conducted in connection with selection of Primary Teachers for appointment under School Education Department has found out that de-categorisation norms of the reservation have not been respected at the time of preparing the merit list. And a serious lapse has been detected in the DPC conducted for recruitment of Primary Teachers under School Education Department as the relevant answer scripts of the candidates were found destroyed / damaged before announcement of the final result. From the recording of the statement of the then DPC members, the High powered committee has pointed to the possibility of manipulation in preparing the merit list of the DPC.
After the submission of report of the High powered committee to the Govt. the State Cabinet, after several rounds of discussion on the issue, had been recommended to seek the comments of the Law Department. Subsequently, the State Govt. also entrusted a Review committee headed by the School Education Director as the chairman to look into the matter. Amid all these detection of various irregularities in the conduct of the DPC, the State Govt. took a decision to the effect of appointing all the candidates selected in the DPC on contract basis for 11 months. With the approval of the State Cabinet, decision ot the State Govt. has been enforced but here toe, the provisions of the compulsory Notification Act of the Employment Exchange of the Central Govt.; has been violated. In accordance to this Act, the duration of the contract appointment should be just 89 days.
We may recall the mass mark-tampering case of the MCS/ MPS written test Examination conducted by the esteemed MPSC some 20 years before in which DAS COMMISSION has scrapped and invalidated the recommended candidates, including sons of some VIP’s and high bureaucrats of Manipur, after having detected the manipulated mark-tampering with prima-facie evidences in the relevant answer scripts and mark Tabulation sheets etc,
The Scheduled Tribe candidates are enjoying double benefits and double privileges within the same state of Manipur twice. What is the justification for this de-categorisation reserved quota, when candidates who belong to general criteria (valley people) are not allowed/ appointed in the case of all appointments made for the 5 Hi!! Districts of Manipur ? The privileges of the General category candidates are deprived and confiscated, perhaps through misinterpretation and miscalculation committed by some bureaucrats /VVIP’s who are in the seat of power. This needs to be rectified/ streamlined to meet the ends of justice, transparency and fair-play in all appointments and subsequent promotions for all departments of Manipur. This long standing controversial practice should be monitored and stopped forthwith, or else, the fate of the future generations and appointment/job opportunities of the General category (valley people) will be nibbed in the bud.
In view of the prevailing grave conflict and vulnerable situation as stated above, a CB! probe or enquiry by a Judicial Commission with the Chief Vigilance
Officer of India is called for, to meet the ends of justice and transparency in recruitment of Primary Teachers, in the public interest.
The merit list of the candidates for written test/ viva-voce etc. for all competitive Examinations conducted by the esteemed UPS>C and the other State Service Commissions are declared and published within a time bound / stipulated time/ period of six months. In such all India competitive Examination, in which lakhs of candidates appear every year.
Why in Manipur, the Education Directorate has taken 5 years in the declaration of selected candidates for appointment of Primary Teachers in a most unjustified and unjudicious manner. This vividly proves and implies that the appointing authorities have taken 5 years in manipulating and tampering the marks by destroying the answer scripts of candidates etc. It is a reality beyond rhetoric and dubious knowledge of ground reality with evil intention, which amounts to a serious crime and sin.
Author is Former President, MPCC (I) & Ex-Finance Minister, Manipur.