Need for transparent recruitment

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THE decision of the Establishment Division to do away with the role of the testing agencies in recruitment process would widely be hailed in view of the doubtful nature of the exercise and widespread reports of malpractices. According to media reports, under the new mechanism, ministries, divisions, autonomous and semi-autonomous organizations have been directed to conduct tests themselves.
In theory, there was nothing wrong with the system of screening of candidates through a third party testing service as the arrangement was aimed at ensuring transparency in judgement of calibre of the candidates. Initially, these agencies rendered valuable services and the process resulted into improvement in the quality of manpower inducted into government service. However, with the passage of time, there were genuine complaints that the transparency is compromised by way of leakage of papers, replacement of answer sheets and favourable marking with or without the connivance of relevant officials of the sponsoring organization. Candidates paid testing fee frequently for different exams but ended up in frustration because of alleged corruption and malpractices. The powers granted to ministries and departments to hold tests on their own is also a step towards decentralization but such powers were also misused in the past and that is why the idea of testing service was experimented. It has been observed that Selection Committees and Boards are pressurized by influential and high-ups to recommend candidates of their choice. Much depends on integrity and honesty of the members and chairmen of such boards and hopefully, officials with a track record of uprightness would be nominated for the purpose. There should be no political pressure and influence in the entire process as selections on merit are crucial for overall performance and productivity of the civil service, which is deteriorating with the passage of time. As the new system too is ad-hoc, we hope a truly transparent mechanism for selection of candidates purely on merit would be evolved so that there is no room for ills like selection through balloting which is worst example of recruitment.

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