And the Most Prestigious Award Goes to

An adapted image from Morgue File

The Manipur Public Service Commission.

You might ask what for, but it’s not important. What is significant is that this public service commission is going to grab the trophy. This mysterious award is the most prestigious and the commission deserves it — and the prize, for an idea, costs more than how much the aspiring candidates or future bureaucrats are willing to pay for the equally honourable job.

MPSC needs complete change over
Wrong or erroneous questions/answer keys in as many as 15 questions of the Manipur Civil Services (Prelim) Exam 2014, allotment of grace marks for the wrong answer keys and declaration of the exam results in two phases sum up (the) clumsiness of MPSC.
—    The Sangai Express editorial, 30 May 2014

HC directs MPSC to re-fix qualifying marks for English in MCSCCE
In a landmark judgement, the High Court of Manipur directed the Manipur Public Service Commission to re-fix the qualifying mark in the General English paper for the Manipur Civil Services combined competitive examination 2010 by treating it to be the “pass mark” keeping into consideration the intent and purpose of the rules and the norms followed all over the country for such civil service competitive examinations including the UPSC.
—    Imphal Free Press, 9 June 2014

In 2011, there was another fiasco when the commission copy-and-pasted 24 questions from a blog.

This means the officials simply do not care about any retribution and making the blunder endlessly. Would extreme measures somehow reduce the blatant misuse of power, if not eliminate it completely—just like how the things ever stand in this part of the world? Or more politically correctly, do they need a rap on the knuckle for their gross incompetency? They have been getting away with no remorse or shame.

Even university professors and other public officials have been punished extra-legally in the past but the situation remains the same. A few of them are so super-thick-skin that they would indulge in graft, get shot at for the crime in kangaroo courts and still stand for election. Democracy is a wonder!

We can consider the cold facts. Most employment is available only in the public sector, and only at a price, in Manipur, which has been ravaged by political misadventures for many decades that we can care to count. Corruption has torn apart the various institutions existing as well. If we talk about institutions, it’s only got to be the institutionalisation of corruption and violence—without an ounce of conscience of the masses. Rather it is a status symbol how much one can plunder from the public.

A wishful thinking prompts that, at least, a kind of government advisory body like the MPSC and further, the future bureaucrats would help in getting rid of the parasites that are eating into the spine of the society. Unfortunately, not. This brings back the question of our role. As bleak as the society is, there is very little thing we can see in this situation but worry about the officials and bureaucrats’ kids, who are most likely to inherit the knack and skills for daylight robbery.

 Who would deny the bureaucrats are going to spend a lifetime, capitalising on the returns of their investment? It is unconvincing that only a massive overhaul of the system can stop the spreading shits that are scattered everywhere. The declaration follows that the existing establishment is only waiting for its time.

Perhaps we can learn some lessons from the book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by American economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. They argue the success of a nation depends on the strength of its political and economic institutions. The formula applies in the province as well. And we can see it very clearly in the concrete institutions where the entire hierarchy, right from the peons and clerks to the top echelons of directors and heads of departments, is waist deep in the shits of easy money and unashamed disgrace. Add to this tragicomedy, the interconnected political culture plus the slavish mentality and we get the sum of a failed state.

And they are so costly I cannot even jump in the bandwagon! Out of the other clerical jobs, the MCS is considered the best and unsurprisingly the priciest. It might be blasphemous to term a reputed administrative job as clerical but that’s the notion we got, again from the sum of going back to its foundation during the British rule and how the employees have been delivering or failing over the years. Their selectors should no doubt get this prize. Three cheers for now. We might have to destroy the entire establishment soon.