The process of selecting the best for a particular task has been an inherent process of nature itself, from which man, with the passage of time polished and refined it to become what is known as a formal selection process. At present, the process has been divided into stages in order to test and evaluate every aspect of a candidate, the objective being to choose the best available person who can handle a particular task. The process therefore has become a universally adopted method of separating those with potentials from the rest – the wheat from the chaff. Right from the time a child is sought admission in a school to those instances when only the extraordinary minds and skills are sought for extraordinary tasks, various methods are being applied as per the level of expertise required. The result, as expected, is one which gives the best possible candidate or candidates.
However, selection processes in Manipur for various posts and positions has always been mired in controversies. There have been uncountable unfortunate incidents, perhaps more than anyone would care to remember, where such selection processes, instead of providing opportunities to deserving candidates, have turned out to be an act which have destroyed their carriers and futures. Legal wrangles, allegations of misdeeds by authorities, inexplicable delays in announcement of results and even cancellations of the entire selection processes has been seen as an intrinsic part of the process and is becoming an increasingly frequent phenomena in the state. As a result, numerous important and vital posts and positions in public administration have been remaining vacant, some for almost a decade without the hope of having them filled by competent individuals.
Delays in dispensing of public work, unnecessary over looping of tasks and authorities, break in the chain of procedures and resulting repetition of frustrating procedures are some of the everyday hazards faced by the public when dealing with any government department or agency. Such a custom have been so deeply ingrained in the workings of public administration that it has come to be institutionalized in the system. And while the public, incidentally for whom these selection processes are being carried out are left to fend for themselves against the onslaught of red-tapism and bureaucratic hurdles, there still is no sign of the government waking up to the reality on the ground. Its’ handling of public agitations and protests regarding the issue over the years have raised more questions than answers. What keeps the authorities conducting these selection tests from announcing the results within a reasonable and acceptable time-frame as announced? Why is the government not taking stringent actions against those incompetent heads of departments who are incapable of performing their duties? Despite the slips and reported loopholes in numerous selection procedures, why are such controversies still rampant? Is the state government incapable or merely uninterested in finding ways to conduct a fair and transparent selection procedure given the
advancement in technology? The only way out of this administrative quagmire is to find answers to these vexing questions by the government itself.