MPSC exam 2010 - Joke of the decade!

Adhip *

Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) Building
Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) Building

'Funny' and 'scary' things are a usual occurrence in our state every now and then.But to me, the funniest and scariest thing of this decade happened right in our state, Manipur. And it is non other then the recently conducted MPSC exam 2010. It's not unusual for the youth of our State to have goosebumps every now and then as there is no dirth of crimes and corruption in our State. And I say funniest and scariest because the recently conducted MPSC exam surpasses all the other vices so intrinsic to our state, atleast to all the aspiring yet unemployed youths. It gives a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness leaving them demoralized and dejected.

Unemployment is rampant in the state and MPSC doesn't conduct the civil service exam every year as in other parts of the country. This exam is the ultimate goal for many aspiring candidates who don't want to land up in a job on contract basis or pay some 20-25 lakhs to become a sub-inspector. It brings back memories of the 2008 MPSC exam which was cancelled, whereby many aspirants who were working in reputed companies outside the state left their high salaried job to prepare for MPSC exam which never materialized. Result was, many of them landed up in mediocre companies after going back from the state due to the months wasted preparing for the 'ghost' exam.

Moreover, it should be remembered that there are thousands of students who are poor and powerless yet intelligent and hardworking, who couldn't even spend a few thousands to buy the competitive exam books. Yet, the incompetent authorities ignored all these social realities, thereby making the MPSC exam 2010 a child's play, the ultimate weapon to show their power and authority to the public, especially to the students.

Here, I would like to remind you of the errors and misdoings of MPSC exam 2010 that has been pointed out since the past many months. MPSC turning a shrewd blind eye to all their errors and straightaway conducting the Mains exam is another story.

One of the allegations is that the candidates have been asked to write their names and put their signatures on the answer script or OMR sheet which consisted of only one page for reasons unknown. A total of 24 questions (e.g.from question no. 146 to 169 of Booklet B) were found to have been copied and pasted straight in bulk without any modification and correction of even the wrong question from the website,

In Question no. 167 the words 'safety metals' was used instead of 'safety matches' as in the website and the irony of the story is that the question-setter did not even change the words 'safety metals' by the correct words 'safety matches'! Over and above this, MPSC also copied and pasted 11 questions from a magazine, namely, 'News and Events (August, 2011 issue) and the same is reflected in page no. 53-54 of the said magazine. While doing so, MPSC also copied and pasted the questions with errors without any corrections as it existed in the magazine.

On close examination of the question sets, it was found that page nos. 25-26 of Booklet-A, page nos. 5 to 6 of Booklet-B, page nos. 11-12 of Booklet-C and page nos. 19-20 of Booklet-D were cut and replaced by another sheet by pasting manually. As such, there is a huge possibility that no absolute secrecy has been maintained by the question-setter as the entire exercise of cutting and pasting the respective sheets on nearly 13,000 (number of applicants) question sets/booklets would involve huge manpower.

Some of the candidates filed cases in the court and there are still cases pending in the court, yet MPSC straightaway conducted the mains exam ignoring all the allegations. Should we call it a misuse of power, their insensitiveness or an act of cowardice?

Again, just few days back, another allegation came pouring in. MPSC conducted the main examination starting from February 6. Question papers for English literature Paper I and Paper II of 300 marks each were exact copies of the question papers set by the Commission for the civil service exam held in 2005. The questions and the sequence of the question papers are exactly similar to the question papers of 2005 though there were some changes in the marking system.

I have a funny random hypothesis keeping into fact all the errors that have been pointed out so far. There are some privileged, rich and powerful candidates, with major in an arts subject, probably History or English; someone who has no dirth of money and power yet shortage of scientific knowledge and common sense. This random hypothesis have been suggested keeping into fact the allegations that there were disproportionately many questions from history in the preliminary exam, all the science questions directly copy pasted from a website without changing the sequence of the question even, and the recent copy pasting of 2005 English literature paper I and II questions.

Errors have been pointed out in the preliminary exam and MPSC should have watched their step atleast while conducting the mains exam. Yet, their (MPSC, MPSC Members and powerful people influencing MPSC) silly games became greater in magnitude with no fear and hesitation. Why wouldn't they when we public are just mere spectators with the exception of those who dare to raise their voice and knock the door of our legal system. We have become so immune to all the malpractices and vices in our state that there is a visible appearance of a sharp demarcation line between the 'powerful' and the 'powerless', the 'rich' and the 'poor'.

Whenever we interact with intelligent people from other parts of the country, they always told us that they don't have very high regards for the civil servants selected by MPSC as there is always a chance of malpractices and corruption in the selection process. But we defend our civil servants and MPSC with the simple logic that not everyone is corrupted and corruption happens everywhere. And believe me, there are few who got selected due to their sheer handwork and intelligence only.

However, the recent malpractices of MPSC have defied our earlier beliefs and trust in an institution which is suppose to be the most reputed one. We are compelled to agree with those who have no respect at all for MPSC and the civil servants selected by it. A body that is supposed to be harnessing the best brain of this state has become a breeding ground for corruption.

It has become an institution to generate civil servants from 'especial handpicked' sons and daughters of the rich and mighty, and 'high contact' people.It's also funny to imagine that they would become 'civil kings and dictators' instead of civil servants when they are selected, thereby continuing the legacy of their corrupted forefathers.

Well those who are lucky to get selected in the MPSC prelims 2010 must be having a mixed feeling seeing all the recent allegations on MPSC. There may be some, who must be sighing with mockery that these are the voices of losers who are lamenting as they couldn't get through the exam. Well, there may be two categories of successful candidates in MPSC 2010.

The first category of candidates is those who got selected due to their hardwork, intelligence and luck without any malpractices. To this category to people, I have a simple question. One day they may become a civil servant as they are in the process of it;supporting such malpractices due to the simple logic that they don't want to take risk or sit for the exam all over again implies two things.

First, there is a huge possibility that they may also become a corrupt babu very soon after selection since they prefer corruption over 'risking for the truth'. Secondly, since they are intelligent enough to get through the preliminary exam, they shouldn't panic on the thought of giving the exam all over again.

Second category of candidates is those who are not gifted with the proper brain and personality to become a civil servant yet endowed with power and money. They must be worshipping MPSC as 'God' with all its flaws. Well, for this category of students, exposing such malpractices must be giving them goosebumps with the fear of loosing their 'under the table' money and their 'name' of course, in case they are also exposed.

Am not a civil service aspirant, am just a mere layman who values human rights and dignity. With their recent malpractices, it seemed as if MPSC stripped us of our human rights and dignity as a whole, not just of the students. To them, we, the common people are just mere statues and dummies who suddenly start moving during votes. For MPSC we are just countless nameless faces who can be easily betrayed and subjugated. Whatever we write doesn't matter a bit to them. Besides, MPSC has become some sort of huge corporate body that keeps the best lawyer handy along with crores of money to defend their acts and beliefs.

I know that with our so called burning issues of Nagalim, votes and armed conflict, such an issue that pertains to few thousands of candidates much be a small drop in the ocean to the society at large. However, I feel that MPSC has done a great injustice to all the people of Manipur. Now it's not just about the civil service exam, but about misuse of power; by the powerful to the powerless, where the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer; further transmission of corruption, and an open crime and betrayal to the common people.

Just imagine an aspiring candidate burning the midnight oil in true sense (as there is no electricity in our state), overcoming all the hardships of preparing such a big exam, with dreams about serving this state in his/her best possible way free from vices and MPSC coming with its big mouth, spitting on the book and face of the candidate.

This is the situation. Reminds me of the movie "V for Vendetta"! Do we need a Vendetta right in our state to eliminate all the corrupt officials, ministers and select honest people so that we may regain our trust in MPSC and such higher bodies once again? We lack unity in such matter, the proof being that they were only 11 candidates who dare to raise their voice and knock the legal doors from amongst thetens thousands applicants.

Hats off to the 11 candidates. But the situation is not very grim because we also have brave and consistent people like Sharmila who is not scared to fight a lone battle for what she believes is right. We need more of 'one man army' and more of Sharmila. We have had enough of foul play!

If MPSC is not competent and responsible enough to conduct such an important exam, then let UPSC take the whole responsibility of conducting Manipur Civil Service Exam as pointed out by DESAM too.

* Adhip is a regular contributor to
The writer can be contacted at adhip(dot)2006(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was posted on February 16, 2012.

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