Need to bust the racket running inside MPSC

Ch Bikram Singh *

Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) Building in Imphal :: March 2013
Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) Building in Imphal in March 2013 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam

There is a racket suspected to be running inside the MPSC which needs to be busted in no time. It will not also be difficult to bust the racket if the state Govt., has the will to do so as the racket seems to be confined within the examination section only. Their responsibilities are the conduct of examinations held periodically and carry out evaluation of the answer-scripts thereof, by engaging experts.

Instead, they are creating series of room for favoritism and nepotism through manipulation of marks. As also clarified by the spokes-person of the aspirant candidates at the panel discussion of "Impact TV" and "ISTV" held on 3rd Aug' 2017 and 4th Aug' 2017 respectively, the role of the Chairman and Members of the commission over the conduct of an examination are very much limited as they remain quite aloof from the day to day activities. The main responsibility lies with the controller of examinations and the examination section, under the supervision of the Secretary of the commission.

So, the first step for cleansing up should be hunting out the names of the responsible officers or staff working in the examination section whose family members, friends and relatives got top-most priority in every batch of selection. The 2nd step should be referring of the case to the police Dept., for booking those responsible officers and staff working in the examination section who possess disproportionate assets, as their ill-gotten wealth is presumed to be earned by way of manipulation carried out in the evaluation system. Unless the culprits are booked sooner or later, there is no future for the civil service aspirants of Manipur.

Let us have a glance at the most glaring facts of the ill-fated combined civil services main examination 2016, conducted by the MPSC as detailed below,-

(1) Mr. Shyamlal Poonia, the previous secretary of the commission was acting both as "Secretary" and "Controller of examination" which created ample scope for manipulation in collusion with the officers and staff of the examination section:

(2) The final examination result was declared on 21st Dec' 2016. Thereafter, the names of the successful candidates were recommended for appointment to the Govt., in the absence of the,- Chairmen who has retired, Members whose terms have expired and the Secretary who was transfered to another dept: and

(3) The fact-finding committee constituted by the hon' ble High Court OKayed their report over such a serious and sensitive matter on the mere plea of random checking, while RTI report of the answer-scripts that also was furnished reluctantly after 7 months on the direction of the State Commission highlighted severe manipulation, under-marking and tempering of marks which is vividly seen in the answer-scripts.

Some vivid examples of manipulation are given below,-

(i) Overwriting and tempering of marks awarded by cutting the marks several times without putting the initials of the examiner, which a proper examiner should never do:

(ii) Marks are awarded on one-time, basis over split questions e.g. Question No. 1 (a) and 1 (b) carrying 30 marks each/- are awarded on one-time basis at the end of Question No. 1 (b), which a proper examiner should never do:

(iii) Marks are awarded at the middle of the answer but, not at the end e.g. marks for an answer to a particular question covering 5 pages is awarded at the 3rd page, which a proper examiner should never do:

(iv) Marks for answer of questions for brilliant candidates over science subjects which may be compared to maths papers and deserving at least 80% marks are very much under-marked to the extent below 30%, which a proper examiner should never do:

(v) Signature of almost all the examiners are not regular and are suspected to be forged, faked and mis-matched, requiring comparison with the original signature records maintained by the MPSC:

(vi) In some cases, the answer-scripts bear no signature of the examiners and supervisors, needing review: and

(vii) There are gulp of differences in tabulation of marks e.g. the total mark in one particular geography paper of a candidate is shown as 32 only in the tabulation sheet while he actually got 129 marks.

The main examination commenced on 4th Sept' 2016 and concluded on 23rd Sept' 2016. The 1000+ plus, say - 1000 candidates appeared in 8 papers i.e. (i) English, (ii) Essay, (iii) GS-I, (iv) GS-II, (v)1st optional paper-I, (vi)1st optional paper-II, (vii) 2nd optional paper-I and (viii) 2nd optional paper-II, in the main examination, which altogether comes to a total of 8000 plus answer-scripts.

The main examination result was declared only 10 days later, i.e. on 4th Oct' 2016 under miraculous circumstances on the pretext of evaluating all the 8000 plus answer-scripts in just 7 available working days. It usually took 2 to 3 months to evaluate the examination papers in the past inclusive of the time to be consumed for moderation and checking by moderators or head examiners. Here arises a major reason for suspicion that evaluation of all the 8000 plus answer-scripts were not completely done, thereby leaving the answer-scripts of almost one-half of the total number of candidates remaining unevaluated.

This suspicion also arose from the fact that the roll numbers of all the successful candidates are found only at the beginning to middle portion of the order of roll numbers, thereby drawing the roll numbers of almost all the candidates falling from the middle to the concluding portion of the order of roll numbers as blank and unsuccessful. This suspicion is again confirmed with the failure to comply RTI queries for 7 months on the part of the MPSC.

The same was furnished after 7 months, that also only after the State commission has ordered to do so. The photocopies of the few 20 plus answer-scripts obtained through RTI exposed mass manipulation, under-marking and tempering of marks vividly, in addition to suspected forgery of examiner's signature. Many answer-scripts are also found without the signature of the examiner and supervisor.

Therefore, there is a profound suspicion that result-sheets of the left-out candidates were evaluated very hastily by some hand-picked staff of the examination section only with the view to comply RTI queries, that also well after the final result was declared. While doing so, they should have been making a rough calculation for putting the marks secured by the left-out candidates just below the marks obtained by the last short-listed candidate for viva-voce standing in 167th position.

This is known as "pigeon-hole theory" in law and are liable to be very much erratic. This is the reason why all the discrepancies i.e. over-writing, tempering, under-marking, mis-tabulation, false signature, unsigned answer-scripts etc. etc. arise on the photo-copies of the answer-scripts obtained through RTI.

It is therefore, suggested that all the civic societies and students' bodies should urge the State Govt., for probing the MPSC over the conduct of evaluation of all the answer-scripts in the lines stated below,-

1. Obtain the signature of all the examiners of the respective subjects for making comparison with the signatures displayed in the answer-scripts which are suspected to be forged.

2. Make a detailed review whether the answer-scripts of the successful candidates bear the signature of the genuine examiners and see whether the marks obtained are over-marked or over-tabulated.

3. It would also require to re-evaluate the answer-scripts of all the 1000 plus candidates by engaging experienced examiners and moderators quite afresh through a competent court of law and review the whole examination result as there is a profound suspicion that the left-out candidates getting 180 plus marks in English and Essay papers are awarded only 30% marks in optional and GS papers, while most of the selected candidates including position holders who secured just pass-marks, i.e. barely 120 marks in English and Essay papers are awarded above 80% marks in the optional and GS papers.

4. Either an FIR be lodged by the Govt., or a sou-moto case be taken up by the police as the case should be a State versus case.

5. The culprits as hinted above should be booked by busting the racket according to law with a view to ensure a bright future to all civil service aspirants of the state.

* Ch Bikram Singh wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at mukta.chandam05(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on August 8, 2017.

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