IMPHAL: Perturbed at the lopsided clarification made by the Secretary of the MPSC pertaining to The Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination (MCSCCE), 2016 issued in print media dated 26th August 2020, the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) said ti would like to enlighten the fiasco to the public in order to dispel certain doubts arising out of mudslinging between aggrieved parties and MPSC.
As a constitutional Body, it was expected by many aspirants that the exam would be free and fair and that all the procedures it adopted would be able to withstand the tests of even the most rigorous scrutiny of the media and courts. Unfortunately, only after two and a half years of appointment, the main exam was quashed by the Hon’ble High Court (Manipur) leaving the successful candidates in distress, Seiboi Haokip, General Secretary of ATSUM said in a press release.
The denizens of Manipur were made to understand that there were lapses and irregularities in the conduct of the exam. As such, with the intervention of Hon’ble High Court of Manipur, CBI investigation was initiated with the hope that something substantial will come out of it; that, the past rumours of corruption, nepotism and favouritism in MPSC will be finally brought to light; and, the culprits punished. CBI is still conducting an investigation, and it needs to be completed unhindered to unearth all misdeeds. However, much to the shock of the people, MPSC announced on 14th August, 2020 that it would be conducting the main re-exam soon, ATSUM said.
Secondly, there is a review petition in the Ho’ble High Court about the enquiry committee that look into the lapses and irregularities of MCSCCE 2016 which were instituted by the High Court, ATSUM said adding that the review pertains to the possibility of conflict of interest in the constitution of such committee. The candidates and public deserve a clear answer if there childrens were candidates in the same exam and if so, why the esteemed committee did not make any declaration to this regard when it was constituted as the reports of the committee became the basis of the judgement for squashing the said exam? The matter is still under pending before the High Court. Therefore, MPSC is duty bound to cooperate with the court and see that natural justice is upheld, the student body stated.
Stating that it is not against holding of examination as and when all lapses and irregularities are solely cleared including CBI enquiry and review petition filed at the High Court, the tribal student body stated that the Supreme Court does not give any timeline for holding of examination afresh and as such, there is no rationality in holding examination urgently. MPSC should not cherry pick only parts of the judgement to suit their interest.
Moreover, Covid-19 is on the rise all over the world, and Manipur is no exception. Our state is witnessing steep spikes in new cases and it is unpredictable as and when we could flatten the curve. The easiness with which this virus spreads and the extreme precautions that has to be taken for prevention makes it most difficult to conduct this exam now. This exam is not like NEET or JEE which can be completed in a single sitting. It runs for over 15-20 days (as per last MCSCCE, 2016 calculation) and a total of 24 hours for each student (total 8 papers of 3 hours each). It also requires deep concentration and full use of the faculties of brain and body. Each student will be asked to sit for 4 days / 24 hours with masks or PPEs if required, and with a perpetual anxiety that they could be infected anytime. As such, it will not be wise to conduct the exam in pandemic perspective too, ATSUM said.
Lastly, it is undisputed fact that none of the lapses and irregularities which have been observed in the conduct of MCSCCE 2016 are attributable to the successful candidates. And thus, conducting examination before clearing the disorder house of MPSC will attract more legal complication in future.
In the light of the above, it is our shared opinion that MCSCCE 2016 re-exam should not be conducted until & unless CBI’s probe is duly completed and the culprits involved in mal-practices are befittingly punished as per the law deemed fit, ATSUM said.