Ngukato K Tsuipu
Founding Member and former PSAN Advisor
In the summer of 2017,hundreds of aspirants under the banner of Public Service Aspirants of Nagaland (PSAN) supported by ACAUT and CTAN braved the rain and took the street of Nagaland Civil Secretariat. In the same winter some aspirants took to hunger strike braving bone chilling Kohima winter. The demand was simple, "Stop Backdoor/Political Appointment and allow us to compete in a free and fair manner". The demand for open competition was not too much to ask, aye?
Protests and strikes were followed by submitting petition to the government demanding for transparency and accountability in the NPSC examination system. The officials met His Excellency the Governor, Hon'ble CM and his Cabinet, Chief Secretary and NPSC members. Most of the demands of PSAN were met by the government, some of demands that I could recalled are as hereunder:
1. Formulate yearly examination calender on the line of UPSC and Conduct exam on time.
2. Reduce Viva marks from 75 to 55
3. Declare answer keys of NPSC exams
4. To include subject experts in the interview panel
5. To set up NSSB on line of SSC
6. To appoint person from civil service background as NPSC members and stop appointing politicians and religious person as NPSC Members.
7. Stop illegal and unqualified deputation etc
During those turbulence, the PSAN officials were met with stiff opposition and pressure from many quarters, even to the extent of taking it personally. But not all were blind to the pressing issues. Surprisingly, it was bureaucrats from outside whole heartedly supported PSAN's demand, and of course, their name deserved a mention, at least:
1. Rupin Sharma the current DGP,
2. Pankaj Kumar, the then Chief Secretary.
The former even issued order to the AHODs and HoDs to calculate annual anticipated vacancy and requisition to NPSC in advance. This order can be found in the P&AR Dept.
Many factors prompted PSAN to start cleansing movement in NPSC examination system. For instance, in 2015 NPSC civil exam 119 questions were copy pasted from Tata McGrew 2014 edition, not to mention 50 straight questions on Current affairs. In fact, the current affairs questions were not too current, so to speak. The matter was dragged to the Court and it took nearly 2 years to pronounce verdict. The outcome of court verdict was very interesting as many candidates who were in the EAC list couldn't even clear in the rectified list while many who were not even in the waiting list secured top spot. What was even worse is that both parties became a victim of the system- even successful candidates wasted nearly two years of their service length as the NPSC 2015 exam's appointment was given in June 2016 only. The following year, NPSC advertised only 57 posts for 12,000 aspirants hiding away many posts from genuine and sincere aspirants. The ratio of post and aspirants is overwhelming!
Again in 2016, many aspirants were defeated by NPSC as they alloted humanly impossible marks to selected few candidates. For instance one candidate secured 74.12 marks out of total 75 interview marks, while it wasn't uncommon for many candidates to secure in the range of 70-74 marks.
After some years of silence NPSC is now back to its old habit, because they say, "Old habits die hard". If it is not with pure intention of polarizing and supporting the cause of some chosen candidates then such silly mistake shouldn't have had happened. Copy pasting is a serious offence because it totally negate the ethics of meritocracy. Should the fate of aspirants be determined by just one book? No, copy pasting is a sheer game of luck, for this matter, one cannot judge the qualities of future administrators and bureaucrats through lottery system.
Strict action should be taken against the company that has been awarded works of setting questions for playing with aspirants career. NPSC members should resign on moral ground for they have failed us all.
Transparency, Accountability and Meritocracy in the NPSC is important because the future of our state and our people depends on it.....here is where the law makers are manufactured. It is time NPSC time NPSC learn a lesson.
Last but not the least, allow me to dedicate my not so favourite song to NPSC, titled "Quite playing games with my heart" by Backstreet boys.