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Monday, May 11, 2009

Making a mockery of awards and selections

Except perhaps for the Civil services selections made by the Union Public Service Commission, a selection that is still regarded as fair, a mockery is being made of various other selections in the entire governmental systems in the country. Various service commissions, selection boards, recruitment boards and search committees either act to satiate the vested interest of one of its members or act as stooges of the concerned minister of the union, for whose territory the selection is to be conducted. The most common practice, especially in the central public sector undertakings and also in the central staffing scheme is to first identify the candidate who is to be selected and then go through the motions of selection.

Is such a mockery of a large number of institutions and organizations that are meant to be fair and just in what they are supposed to do, the right thing. Why do the members of such high institutions allow themselves to be manipulated and treated like a stooge of high government functionaries? Possibly the answer lies in the fact that most of the members and chairman are bureaucrats who have managed or manipulated to find a sound post retirement sinecure. Content they are with sitting on such high sounding posts and kowtowing to powers that matter, all for petty personal gains. That the selection of the right candidate strictly on merit is what these bodies are meant for is a philosophy that has gone to seed.

The rot in the system of selection has not left untouched even the Padma awards, the highest awards of the country, conferred by none other than the President of the republic. How else can one justify the inclusion of bollywood actresses in this prestigious list, actresses who are known more for their beauty and titillating postures rather than any contribution to the country. These awards that should be given only to outstanding individuals who have made a visible contribution to the nation have now been restricted only for people with a clout, mediocres with connections to powerful people, svelte dancers and to people from the glamour world for reasons best known to the selectors. Yes there are exceptions, but these exceptions are kept primarily as a front to retain some semblance of respect for these awards. The selectors in any case do not believe in other modes of contribution to the country.

It is unfortunate that no holy cows now exist, even in the matter of selections and awards in our country?

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