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Monday, March 4, 2024

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Monday, March 4, 2024

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Public Service Commission, a constitutional body established by Article 315 in Part XIV of the Indian Constitution is responsible for recruiting and conducting various examinations to numerous vacancies that exist within a state. The state of Meghalaya has its own Meghalaya Public Service Commission that ensures that the vacancies to various administrative bodies are filled in a transparent manner. The state public commissions, all over the country, have over the years exposed themselves as opaque, biased and corrupt. The allegations levied against them are that they run a cozenage and the politically-affluent candidates are the ones that find themselves in plum positions. This can also be seen in appointments of the Chairman and the board members that serve the interest of the political elites, who with the change of state governments are also substituted to benefit the government in power. The Meghalaya Public Service Commission has over the years seen its fair share of allegations and alleged corrupt practices such as the 2009 infamous alleged role of legislators and the bureaucrats in manipulation of score sheets in the recruitment of teachers where services of as many as 260 lower primary school teachers were terminated. Then again, there is also the recruitment of Meghalaya Police Service in 2016 where the Meghalaya High Court ordered a CBI probe into the alleged manipulation by the state public service commission in recruitment for the State Police Service which was brought to light by an aspiring candidate Millon Ch. Momin, where the now retired Justice S R Sen had ordered an independent inquiry to ascertain the facts of the matter; the court, which had also called for reviewing the viva-voce score sheets, found that some marks noted down against certain candidates were done twice, one with pencil and another with ball pen and reiterated that “all of a sudden the total marks mentioned were 39 both with pencil and with ball pen. It appears eraser was used.”

In the recently concluded Physical Efficiency Test (PET) conducted by the MPSC with the assistance of the Meghalaya Police for the post of 17 MPS officers, many aspiring candidates took part and they were of the view that it had been conducted in a fair manner. However, the successful candidates also hold the view that the recruitment is a charade and the advertised post will be eventually occupied by the politically-connected and wealthy. One of the candidates had also said that the class inequality between the aspiring candidates is so vast that aspiring candidates are mere actors, who play a supporting role in uplifting the creamy class of the society. They had raised doubts in the integrity of the State Commission that is allegedly blatantly unfair and corrupt. The recruitment for the post of MPS officers is a four-tier process as prescribed by the Commission, which includes the PET, the preliminary examination, which are both qualifying in nature, and the Mains with 2300 marks and the contentious viva-voce with 250 marks. Some of the legally literate candidates had expressed that they are prepared to file a writ petition in the High Court and file a criminal case quoting the Assam Police Service cash-for-job scam, where 12 charge sheets were filed against 23 ACS and APS officers. Likewise, some news is doing the rounds amongst the aspiring candidates for the 17 MPS post that Rs 50 lakh has already been paid by some candidates for the current post and some agents are seeking Rs 25 – 50 lakh in securing them this post, there is also a rumour that some affluent political persons are seeking 20 per cent of their salary after successful recruitment to this prestigious post.


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