When it comes to public examitions, particularly for professiol courses like engineering or medicine as well as for government services, there can be no compromise in conducting them cleanly and in totally transparent manner. As far as the Civil Services Examition conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) is concerned, there has been a consistent, visible effort by the authorities to keep the process clean. Back in the early Nineties, the UPSC had to cancel a prelimiry exam after question papers were leaked out by a ring later traced to Bihar. In the last 4-5 years, a few cases of cheating and impersotion were detected and summary action was taken. There has been a continuing focus in tailoring the process appropriately to select civil service aspirants with the right aptitude and attitude. This is evident in the UPSC reducing the number of optiol papers to one and increasing the number of general studies papers to three while making the persol interview more nuanced and layered.
There is a justifiable glow of pride across Assam this year with sixteen aspirants from the State making it to the fil Civil Services 2014 list, the best performance so far. The fact that these aspirants toiled hard in clearing a tough, highly competitive, three-stage examition gains a further shine with the integrity of the entire examition process. Compare this with the regret some successful aspirants of Assam Civil Services 2014 have publicly expressed. The widespread allegations of corruption and skulduggery by the Assam Public Services Commission (APSC) in selecting candidates of dubious merit, has cast a pall upon the entire process and put honest, meritorious candidates on the defensive. Let us not forget that at least two of the 16 aspirants who cleared the UPSC examition this year, also figured in the APSC merit list. There was a time when examitions conducted by the APSC had similar prestige, when aspirants who cleared it had reasons to feel a sense of achievement. The APSC’s downfall in the last three decades has robbed honest achievers of pride, while cruelly depriving many others who were worthy and deserving. There can be absolutely no tolerance to a public examition going to the dogs like this, for it can lead to a wider, ugly fallout as the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh is now revealing. At least 40 persons linked with this exam scam have reportedly met mysterious deaths.