Abolition of interviews

Abolition of interviews

Opening floodgates of arbitrariness


Faraz Ahmad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ushered in New Year, 2016 making this grand announcement abolishing interviews for virtually all non-gazetted  government jobs.

He justified his decision on the grounds that this system breeds arbitrariness and therefore corruption. “I have yet to see a psychologist who can judge a person’s merit in a two-three minute interview,” the Prime Minister grandly proclaimed in his typical style while laying the foundation stone of the Delhi Meerut Expressway on New Year eve.

So in effect now those appearing for clerical grade, or Assistant Grade or Police Sub-inspector examination will no more be subject to any interview but recruited directly. But for a couple of hundred of these posts lakhs, of candidates sit for the written examination and of these thousands pass the written tests. In a situation where there may be more candidates with the highest marks, say for instance 99 per cent than the 200 odd posts that year, then how will the recruiter judge who is more deserving and who should be left out and why? For that matter will the recruiter be bound to employ all the candidates who get equal marks in the written test? And that is a very real possibility.

There are tests for recruitments of basic and primary teachers, for clerks, for office assistants for police sub-inspectors. As for the police constables, peons, drivers and other class IV jobs there may not be written tests but even they have to pass rigorous medical tests and surely the Prime Minister must be aware of how medical tests too can be and often are manipulated through corrupt underhand practices. So will he next abolish medical tests as well and in the same spirit then why not do away with written tests too? After all the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh and the teachers recruitment scam of Haryana have proved that there is no guarantee of meritorious selection through written tests as well.

On the other hand the doing away of the interview will ensure many more scams because the selection process will then become even more arbitrary specially for candidates who obtain the same number of marks in written tests and every year there are hundreds and thousands like that specially when graduates, post graduates and generally over qualified people apply for Class III and IV jobs. Right here in the DTC you have so many drivers and conductors who are university graduates now.

Then how will you choose between two candidates obtaining the same number of marks? Naturally through recommendation. And  whose recommendation will carry weight. Vyapam shows that in almost all BJP ruled states it is the RSS and its functionaries who will carry the requisite weight to the extent that even the Governors and chairmen of public bodies like the Prasar Bharti or the Directors of prestigious institutes like the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi or the Films and Television Institute, Pune are chosen on the equation he or she enjoys within the Sangh parivar. So on this New Year the Prime Minister’s gift to the nation is that your academic merit will carry no weight anymore even if you get the best marks if your rival with equal marks comes with better recommendation.




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