12 May 2013 - 9:03am | Syed Miraz Ahmed
The Assam Tribune editorial dated January 29, 2009 holds that the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) is no exception to serious criticism for gross irregularities in holding competitive examinations, favouritism in the selection of candidates and corruption. It further says that the scandals of the Assam Public Service Commission need no reiteration.
In December 20, 2008 the Government of Assam and the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) were issued show cause notices by the Gauhati High Court over selection of candidates for viva-voice, with a couple of non-qualified candidates, alleging favouritism and other severe irregularities in the selection process. In September 1, 2009, the Gauhati High Court scrapped the selection list of the Assam Civil Service saying that selection done by Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) was not based on merit.
As recently as November 17, 2011, the Assam Public Service Commission invited applications for (1) the post of a Principal in the State Engineering College of Assam under Higher Education (Technical) Department and (2) 16 posts for Deputy Director, Inspector of Schools and District Elementary Education Officer under Education(Secondary) Department. The first post called for a minimum of 10 years of experience in teaching/research/industry, of which at least 3 years should be in the level of a Professor of an Engineering College at the Degree level and the second required 10 years of teaching experience in a School or College or administrative experience of 10 years of which 5 years must be in teaching.
Of the many who applied the required 16 deserving candidates were selected and accordingly retained against their respective posts. In the order of their positions achieved, they were: (1) Anjan Kumar Deka (2) Jyotsna Rani Brahma (3) Prasanna Borah (4) Amir Hussain (5) Chinmoyee Talukdar (6) Subhalakshmi Rajkumari (7) Rumi Choudhury (8) Jayanta Thakuria (9) Semina Yasmin ara Rahman (10) Buli Gogoi Bhuyan (11) Saju Kumar Jadav (12) Jagadish Prasad Jadav (13) Mridul Kumar Nath (14) Anup Kumar Das (15) Jaypal Sing Brahma and (16) Gayatri Naiding.
Incidentally, credentials provided by the first candidate Anjan Kumar Deka in support of 10 years of teaching experience appear straightly forged. Deka submitted a certificate as issued from the Tihu College under Nalbari District that cite his teaching experience in the said College to be from April 1, 2005 to February 24, 2011.
Vice Principal of the College G.N. Sharma in a reply to DHE/RTI/144/2012/5 dated 17-11-2012 denied Deka's appointment as a teacher and the issuance of any kind of experience certificate in his favor under his office. He further termed Deka's attempt as completely fraudulent. Anjan Kumar Deka was appointed temporarily as a Multi-Purpose Worker (MPW) at the Naharani Sub Centre in Sonitpur District. Prior to his appointmet as MPW by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Assam on March 19, 2010, Deka worked as the District Quality Manager (DQM) of the Assam Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Movement) in Nalbari District for sometime. Since 2010 Deka is working in the Sotiya Normal School in Sonitpur as a teacher of mathematics under the Education Research and Training Parishad of the Government of Assam.
Semina Yasmin ara Rahman whose name also appears in the list of successful candidates does not seem to have the required teaching experience. This has become certain from the experience certificate she appended that shows Ref/Letter No. as PSMS/EC/007-2011 and the date of issue as 31/12/98. Rahman passed her B.A. in the year 1994 and also happens to have parallely completed her B.Ed the same year, M.Ed in 1997 and M.A. in 1998 from Gauhati University. It calls for a detailed probe as to how she completed both her B.A. and B.Ed the same year. In 2002 when Rahman applied for a post under the Assam Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Movement) she mentioned her cummulative experience in teaching both in High and Middle English Schools as approximately 5 years which actually means that she does not have the complete mandatory 5 years of experience which is a prerequisite for the post applied. How did she qualify the interview, then?
Cases of contradiction do not end here. Resident of Santipur Village in Mirza, Jayanta Thakuria (M.Sc and B.Ed), s/o Ramesh Chandra Thakuria applied for the post of Assistant Teacher vide an advertisement in The Assam Tribune on 10.1.2005. He furnished an experience certificate of having taught for 5 years and 6 months at the Brindabati Das Girls' High School in addition to working at the Assam Rifles Public School. Replying to a query vide GB-EST/RTI/3/2013/2 dated 21.01.2013 Headmaster of the concerned school L. M. Choudhury refuted Jayanta Thakuria's claim and testimonials. This is a classic filmy example of identical names. Jayanta Thakuria (B.Sc) working at Brindabati Das Girls' High School since 05.08.2000 is the son of Khagen Thakuria and resident of Dakhala Village of Bijoynagar area under Kamrup Rural. The former Jayanta Thakuria fradulently posed as the latter to assume a post.
Following a case filed by Hiranya Kumar Nath and others vide WP(C) No. 4325 of 2012 dated 29.11.2012 in the Gauhati High Court, Jayanta Talukdar the former furnished his testimonials including those he used to apply for the post of Inspector of Schools.
The list of such and other antices are allegedly at the cost of those deserving candidates who could not or rather did not bribe the officials of the Commission. Most of the 16 candidates selected and duly appointed have experimented with unique methods which successfully worked towards hood winking a body like the Assam Public Service Commission which is proudly one of the oldest Public Service Commissions. APSC came into being as early as April 1, 1937 with the provision of the Government of India Act, 1935 with Mr. James Hezelett, a retired ICS officer from London, as its first Chairman.
Chinmoyee Takuldar was a candidate enlisted by the APSC as the least experienced among enterviewees with work experience that goes against the APSC prerequisites. Talukdar also refrained from applying through the expected proper channel. Despite the APSC's mandatory requirement that the applicants must be among those who exhibit uniform brilliant careers, several applicants like Buli Gogoi Bhuyan, Mridul Kumar Nath, Amir Hussain, Saju Kumar Jadav and others who passed in the third division were selected by the APSC. Even grace mark holders like Anup Kumar Das also escaped scrunity and appeared in the list of 16 successful candidates.
The Assam Service Public Commission utterly failed to provide complete Third Party Information of all the 16 candidates except for 6. In the face of such blunders and exercices of violation of norms and regulations of recruitments and appointments it remains to be seen how investigation agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Investigation Department plan to take into account the legal sources of income of the officials who allow such processess of appointment. Such matters have turned out to be a damper for deserving applicants and have eventually eaten into the environment of healthy competition. All said, will the APSC do something to win back the confidence of the masses and clean the muck off its image?