Call to curb favouritism and nepotism:
Cash for jobs!
Chief Minister N Biren has pledged to stop favouritism and nepotism. This is good and should go down well with the people, but the question of bigger import is whether this was such the case when favouritism and nepotism ruled the roost. Was this the case when Manipur was under the Congress Government for 15 years ? All questions but let it be very clear that there are many who would rather skip the State Government and opt for the tougher but fairer Union Public Service Commission exams. This is where one would like to state that the Centre is more fair than the State Government, and the answer should lie with recruiting bodies like the Manipur Public Service Commission. In stating that the Government will curb favouritism and nepotism, is the Chief Minister conveying the message that this was the norm during the Congress Government which ruled the State for 15 years ? Tough to say but just how dirty is the recruitment process in Manipur can perhaps be summed up by the fact that the 2016 recruitment exam conducted by the Manipur Public Service Commission which has been squashed by the Court ! True the MPSC is an autonomous body but the suspicion that the ‘high and mighty’ of the State Government could have a say in its recruitment process cannot be totally ruled out.
The year 2106 is not the first time that the MPSC has earned an infamy of its own. For those who came in late, back in 1994 the whole exam was ruled out, meaning those who passed the exam were never called for the interview. The reason as the then Imphal bench of the Gauhati High Court then ruled was ‘A drop of poison poisons the whole glass.’ True but then it is unfortunate that no corrective measures seems to have been put in place if the decision to quash the 2016 examination is any indication. So officers who were otherwise serving as SDOs, SDPOs, SDCs, via the 2016 MPSC exams suddenly are now unemployed. This is where the assurance of the Chief Minister that no rooms would be given to favouritism and nepotism gains credence. For too long, Manipur has been associated with the term ‘cash for job.’ This in other word means that to get any meaningful employment, one has to sell one’s property, farms etc to land a Government job and this is the tragedy of it all. For those who have been fortunate enough to get a job in the private sector, let it be the encouraging part. There are now some examples where the private sector has been providing meaningful employment and let it be a wake up call to all that employment does not necessarily mean a Government job. Let this message also reach the ears of the Chief Minister.