Justice Above All . . .
The CBI has unearthed that recruitment of lower primary school teachers in Meghalaya was highly irregular in the year 2009 or so. The then Education Minister has been indicted for changing the final merit list of 79 candidates to a fresh list, retaining only 17 selected originally. This is not only a severe indictment but is corruption of the highest order, gross and vile. It is tampering unauthorisedly even after the merit list was prepared. This means number one, that the merit list was tampered with and number two people who were not at all in the consideration were selected without the knowledge of the selection committee. It was all paper work and a top down bottom approach with the green signals of the authorities. It also means that those lower down in the rungs had no option but to obey the high commands. The CBI has mentioned specifically some ministers and officers in this context. This is shame of the highest order that any government can face. And that too this has happened when the Central Government is talking about revamping primary education and the Right to Education.
If teachers are appointed in such an arbitrary manner then how can education function – and that too primary school teachers when we know that primary school education is the base for which secondary and higher education depend upon for education to function holistically and smoothly. What has made matters worse is that the Chief Minister of the state has virtually accused the Chief Secretary of leaking out the information or the CBI report to the media. Where is the question of leaking out when a CBI report is very transparent and is known to all and sundry? Why should the Chief Secretary be roped in at this stage, when his cabinet colleagues are guilty of reprehensibility? Obviously, this is a slur on the government and it has no answer, hence accusations. Then there will be counter accusations. But the public has a right to know what happened and how such shameless tampering with the results was done. What then is happening to other matters of selection conducted by the State Government? This needs unraveling because this may not be an exception; it is only by good fortune that this has been revealed. Of course, the elections in the state are round the corner, commentators may say that this is a means to drag the government down to its knees, but that is another story. The fact is that the CBI has come out with this report and how does the government answer it?
This is one case, God only knows how many other cases have been happening like this in the country.
Selections which involve only interviews are always suspect, at least in India. This is so because the candidate is at the total mercy of the selection committee. And once the selection committee does not like the face of a particular candidate there can be many ways and easy ways to prove that the candidate is not suitable for the post.
I think selections like this should always be monitored by agencies like the CBI so that the entire process of recruitment is transparent and fair and those who do not wield political cloud are given a fair chance in the eyes of justice. This instance regarding the Meghalaya Government is a serious pointer towards what future action the Central Government must take to ensure that all recruitment is above board.
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Ananya S Guha
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