Examinees and Govt?s double standards | india | Hindustan Times
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Examinees and Govt?s double standards

CHARLES DICKENS in one of his novels says that there is a magic spell about the word ?thief??, for when some one raises an alarm, ?Thief, Thief!? the butcher leaves his shop, the shopkeeper his counter, the workman his tools, and the entire humanity gives a wild chase. When the thief is caught, there is a moral elation and the joy of a kill.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 13:12 IST

CHARLES DICKENS in one of his novels says that there is a magic spell about the word ‘thief’”, for when some one raises an alarm, “Thief, Thief!” the butcher leaves his shop, the shopkeeper his counter, the workman his tools, and the entire humanity gives a wild chase. When the thief is caught, there is a moral elation and the joy of a kill.

The State Government, by ordering the Collectors to strengthen and effectively mobilise flying squads to apprehend the defaulting examinees, has indulged in some such thief-hunt for moral satisfaction.

Examinees are debarred from examination if they arrive half an hour late at the centre, on the specious presumption that they may have obtained the question papers from another centre and may have managed to prepare answers in that half an hour and therefore forfeit the right to take the examination.

Accidents, genuine emergencies, sudden illness or any other genuine reason for late coming is just dismissed as excuse and the examinees lose one year. Others are caught using unfair means, small chits as small as an inch or two and are not allowed to take the examination. After all, copying is copying irrespective of the size of the ‘chit’.

Nobody can question the universities or the administrators for being tough with the defaulting examinees. But there is more to the examination than just apprehending the culprits, for the invigilators body-search the students irrespective of their sex. Decade and a half ago this practice of body-search was stopped. An invigilator had asked an examinee to stand up and surrender for body-search, but the examinee refused to oblige him protesting that the practice was humiliating.

The principal was called who asked the examinee either to allow body-search or leave the examination hall. But when the examinee, who was taking his law examination, disclosed his identity, the principal fled the scene: the examinee was an IAS writing his LLB examination. (I wish the officer reregisters his objection if he is reading this).

It would be cynical to protest against the honest drive to keep academic life clean, but when it comes to other spheres of life the Government indulges in double standards. An examinee pays for late coming, for using unfair means and is held accountable for violating the established laws.

No such accountability is enjoined upon the government employees when it comes to criminal official delays, red-tapism, open bribery and haughty behaviour. Time-bound disposal of official work and attendant accountability are two great casualties in our administration, which are the genesis of corruption.

All the year round we condone greater offences and unpardonable moral lapses, but come examination time and our morality, which had been asleep for the entire year, can no longer suffer any more violations of our laws. In a desperate bid to preserve our morality, we haul up our poor defenceless young men and women, and award them exemplary punishment. Our conscience thus appeased, our morality goes to sleep till the next examinations.

Why does the government practice such double standards? Why should only the young men and women be the special targets of their mad fury and high handedness? Why shouldn’t the government implement the basic administrative morality by enjoining upon their employees accountability?

Why haven’t the government the administrative will to stem the rot in the system? If it is claimed that lack of work culture and corruption are now well-entrenched and accepted national phenomena and cannot be eradicated is to fool the citizens, who know that without government patronage nothing can go wrong.

Are the Government expecting the citizens to knock at the door of justice for something that is their primary duty to give and the citizens’ right to expect? When will the government constitute flying squads to check their own recalcitrants?