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Op-Ed

A strongly weak case

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By EMN Updated: Aug 16, 2014 10:50 pm
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Z. Lohe

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]iss. Watinaro A. Imsong ranked at 62nd position in All India Pre-Medical Test, a mandatory selection test for all technical studies, as published in local papers. She might have indicated her preference for Horticulture studies in her application thereby she got the seat of B.Sc. Horticulture at Dr. YS Parmar(DYSP) University in Himachal Pradesh(HP). In Nagaland, the kind of treatment meted out to poor girl Watinaro should not surprise anybody. Most probably she hails from common man’s background without strong political or vibrant bureaucratic back up. Being a Chakhesang I could only presume her to have such gullible background as per her treatment.
The single seat of B.Sc. (Horti) at DYSP University, HP is the quota allotted to Nagaland State. Whereas, Miss. Watinaro is the legitimate candidate for the said seat by merit. Her right to get the seat is legitimate and strong by Govt. rules, by practice and by precedence.Nevertheless, by today’s Nagaland style of governance, Watinaro’s technical seat was seized as per paper reports by the Director of Horticulture Department through coercion. The stealing of the seat of a very innocent and ignorant girl by damaging the lock of existing rules and practices by the Director has crossed the limit of corruption. This aristocratic action has not only hurt the sentiment of the helpless girl but it is hurtful to all right thinking Naga citizens. It has now placed the Department of Horticulture as a whole to be a platform of guillotine of career. I hope this Deptt. will be rebuilt after the retirement of the present Director.
Secondly, the issue was brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary of Nagaland hoping that she would call a spade a spade. To her, whether Watinaro deserves or the candidate of Horti. Director deserves the seat in question? Had the norms not been changed by now, no Institute will entertain any State Govt’s request for exigency requirement of additional seat beside what is allocated already for each State as per my personal experience. More so, it is harder to get such seat from prestigious Institutes. In the guise of helping Watinaro, the CS has reportedly written letter to NEC for additional seat in the same University. It implies that whether Horti Director’s candidate has legitimacy to claim that single seat or not, once taken is taken, and the CS is helpless except that she could write a letter to NEC for additional seat. The seat seizure might not have been done with the knowledge or tacit approval of the CS, but such act of brazen nepotism being condoned by the neutrality of the chief bureaucrat has thrown the laid down rules to dogs.
Thirdly, the same questions I am posing to NSF. Whether Watinaro deserves or the other candidate who has already availed the seat is legal? Definitely both the contending parties are not equally right or wrong. One is right and the other is wrong. NSF has to give its opinion if it still claims to be the apex body of students. As per NSF’s statement dated 15.8.14 in local papers, Watinaro was selected by Technical Education Deptt. to get that seat in question. As of now, she is not getting because the other candidate has already been admitted against it. What NSF is going to do now? If in the wisdom of NSF, Watinaro is the legal candidate, better fight it out for her. With the kind of posture you have maintained may force someone else to intervene. In the event of justice being restored to the girl by such intervention and not at NSF’s instance, NSF has to wear the prominent earrings of stigma for a longer time than thought. The kind of pressure you are putting on the authority will not help Watinaro to get the seat back.
Fourthly, this issue should not be taken casually by the elected representatives. What about the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary in-charges of Technical Education and Horticulture Departments? Once the precedence of this nature is created, then the existing system of having Technical Education Deptt. as the nodal authority for selection of candidates will become obsolete. The pandora’s box is opened hence.
By merit Watinaro A. Imsong is entitled to get her desired seat in DYSP University, HP, but by brute power the other has stolen it. She is made further helpless since the concerned authorities including NSF find it very inconvenient to spell out who has committed the injustice. It appears forces are ganged up against her and she is now left in the lurch to face uncertainty. Supposing Watinaro gets additional seat as per the letter of the CS in DYSP University, well, we are all happy that her career is finally protected. But here at home, how the Govt will contain authoritarianism, bad precedence, nepotism, etc. –
Z. Lohe was the former president of NSF (1980-82)

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By EMN Updated: Aug 16, 2014 10:50:51 pm