Sitting on the fence: Unjustified delay in the Meghalaya Civil Service mains examination results
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Sitting on the fence: Unjustified delay in the Meghalaya Civil Service mains examination results

Sources stated that the declaration of results would take another month because MPSC has not started evaluation of the MCS Mains answer scripts.

By Jeremiah Syngkli

“One day’s delay is another day’s lack of progress” - American Counsel Stuart Bowen Jr.

When it comes to public administration and governance, every unit in the public system has a vital role to play to ensure grassroots deliverance of amenities and facilities to the public at large.

In the scheme of governmental hierarchy, a break in the chain or line of command would create havoc in the entire administrative setup, and ultimately it is the public that ends up suffering and losing the most.

The Meghalaya Public Service Commission, established under Article 315 to the Constitution, was set up with the mandate to conduct examinations for appointment to the Services of the State of Meghalaya.

In essence, it is the constitutional duty of the MPSC to provide abled, competent individuals of integrity to serve in the Government of Meghalaya under various postings and positions.

Among these Services of the State of Meghalaya, we have the prestigious Meghalaya Civil Service or the MCS.

To put it simply, we can consider the MCS as the miniature version of the IAS, for it deals with direct public administration at the state level under the supervision of the IAS officials.

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In Meghalaya, MCS officers handle extremely important positions such as Block Development Officer, Extra Assistant Commissioner, Under Secretary, Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Secretary, Director, Joint Secretary, Secretary and others.

These are important statutory positions that are primarily essential to keep the state of Meghalaya running on a day-to-day basis.

In 2017, the Meghalaya Public Service Commission, in consultation with the Government of Meghalaya, released the official advertisement calling for applications to fill up 38 sanctioned posts of the MCS - Junior Grade.

Subsequently, in July 2018, the Preliminary Examination (Phase I) was conducted, and the results consequently released the following month, i.e. August 2018.

In October 2018, the MPSC called for applications of the successful candidates to the MCS Mains Examination (Phase II) to be held at a later date.

Amid this, six unsuccessful candidates filed a writ petition before the High Court of Meghalaya challenging the Preliminary Examination results on various grounds. The court case went on for months.

Towards the end of 2019, the MPSC released a notice that it would hold the MCS Mains Examination in January 2020 and that the Schedule or Routine for the same would be released later.

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The aggrieved unsuccessful candidates filed a Miscellaneous Writ Petition seeking a stay on the MCS Mains Examination notice, to which the High Court complied.

However, the stay order was challenged by MPSC before a Division Bench of the High Court, which overturned the earlier stay order. The Supreme Court of India also upheld this decision of the Division Bench.

They finally held the MCS Mains Examination in January 2020, where 576 candidates were allowed to sit for the same.

The result of the Mains Examination, however, was subject to the outcome of the original Writ Petition filed by the six aggrieved unsuccessful candidates, as decided by the Division Bench and upheld by the Supreme Court.

Months and days passed since the conclusion of the Mains examination. Finally, on January 27, 2021, exactly one year from since the MCS Mains Examination, the High Court of Meghalaya disposed of the original Writ Petition and did not grant relief to the unsuccessful candidates.

The Court, therefore, granted liberty to MPSC to declare the pending MCS Mains Examination.

The above is a synopsis on the history of the MCS recruitment matter in the state of Meghalaya. As one of the successful candidates, a few questions, however, trouble my mind.

The last judgment of the High Court of Meghalaya was delivered on January 27, 2021, yet the MCS Mains results are nowhere in sight.

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According to a report by The Shillong Times, “MPSC to declare results soon” (30.01.2021), no clear timeline has been intimated by the MPSC authorities.

Sources stated that the declaration of results would take another month because the MPSC has not even started an evaluation of the MCS Mains answer scripts, despite that the exam was conducted 12 months ago!

If this is true, can we imagine a more pathetic situation than this? It is acceptable that delay in results was due to the matter being sub judice in High Court all this while, but could not the MPSC have at least completed the evaluation process? The Court never stopped MPSC in this regard!

Repeatedly, I have reiterated this point that examinations such as the Meghalaya Civil Service require months of preparation as it is not an examination one can prepare in just a matter of days.

For many of us, we have sacrificed many opportunities to prepare and dedicate ourselves for this examination. MPSC, now with untied hands, should understand the plight of the successful candidates and ensure results be released promptly.

Already we have suffered for over four years (yes, four long years) for no apparent fault of ours. Since the history of its inception, MPSC has not always been in the good spotlight. Allegations of nepotism, manipulation and “making” plagues the Commission. The newly appointed Chairman and Members of MPSC should not allow such allegations and should prove these allegations wrong through transparent conduct and timely declaration of results.

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In other states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the day when a judgment comes out which grants liberty to the State Public Commission to declare results, that day itself the State Public Commissions would release the results. By condoning this delay in MCS Mains results despite no pending litigation to the contrary, MPSC is waiting for another form of litigation which would drag this process for another hundred years.

We the successful candidates are tired, weary, and would desperately like to see the end of this entire fiasco. Truthfully, it would be better to know that one has failed the examination than to be kept in the dark for years.

At least one can move on to something else, with no baggage tying us down.

If any of the MPSC officials are reading this, just think of all the trouble you have caused to innocent lives.

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal opinion. The opinion expressed in the article above belongs to the writer alone and TNT- The Northeast Today may not endorse the same views.

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