Towards fair appointment to public service commission

ITANAGAR, Jan 17: The requirement of an independent public service commission (PSC) is to ensure objectivity and impartiality in all forms of recruitment. Among numerous measures adopted by the central government in this regard, the constitution of an independent agency like the state public service commission for various recruitments in the state is an important step.

The constitution of India provides for the establishment of a PSC for each of the state [Article 315(1)]. Two or more states may agree to have a common PSC [Article 315(2)]

The state public service commission is a constitutional body. Articles 315 to 323 of the constitution deal with the composition, appointment and removal of members, power and functions and independence of a state public service commission. The state public service commission ensures and protects the meritorious nature of the state civil services.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) was established on 4 April, 1988, and it has been giving its contribution to the state of Arunachal Pradesh as the nodal agency based on merit and equity in recruitment.

The APPSC carries out the process of recruiting educationally, academically eligible and individually committed persons to the post of civil services and has the status of being an impartial agency in delivering justice to the people. The contributions made by the APPSC has gained the faith of the people of the state since its establishment and functioning as a constitutional body.

Modern strategies have been adopted by the commission and the website of the commission, introduced with technical support from the information technology & communication department of the state government and the NIC, has provided the provision to the all such aspiring candidates applying for various examinations conducted by the APPSC.

The state government under the present leadership owns all the credit of all the initiative, especially in handling of all Group B posts, such as PGTs, TGTs, JEs and SI police to have a quality and fair recruitment process.

The central government and the state government in Arunachal Pradesh strive to have a gender-balanced work force and women are being encouraged to apply for various constitutional and statutory bodies. The government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance.

At this juncture, it is made to understand that, from a recent advertisement, dated 11 November, 2020, that a post of member is lying vacant and that the appointment of the member to the state public service commission is extremely crucial.

As the public service commission’s sole objective is based on the principle of merit, equity and transparency, the appointment of the member should also be on the basis of outstanding meritorious academic excellence and outstanding career profile rather than political appeasement. The appointments should be done by keeping every aspect as tools of consideration based on gender representation, outstanding academic qualification and experience, and persons preferably belonging to legal background and experience, considering the series of legal suits against the public service commission in the recent past, which has left unprecedented hardship for young aspirants and affected the credibility of the APPSC.

Furthermore, as a tribal state, with more than 26 major tribes and 100 sub-tribes, proper representation of every community should be made in the state public service commission.

Past experience reveals that gender disparity pertaining to women representation is clearly visible in the appointment process of the incumbents to the PSC. Things have changed for the better today, but if we look at the numbers, it reveals that the representation of women was made in the last few years, although the representations have been poor.

For instance, till date, since the inception of the APPSC in 1988 by an act of the assembly, the PSC in Arunachal Pradesh has seen just two incumbents to the coveted post, namely, Mamang Dai as member from 20-08-2011 to 18-08-2017 and Komoli Mossang as member from 09-08-2018 to 07-12-2018, and no further appointment of women till date.

It has also been learnt that in some of the NE states, amendments in the legislation have been made, whereby by at least 1 woman representative in the public service commission is made mandatory, keeping in mind equal representation of women in the highly coveted agency like the public service commission.

Therefore, with the above observation, it is pertinent for the state government to necessarily see the facts and ensure that competent and qualified persons with outstanding career and excellent academic qualification and experience should be represented in the PSC, rather than appointing persons for political appeasement and other adjustment. It should also look into ensuring that gender representation is realized in the commission.

As the recent advertisement has sought qualified persons to apply for the post of member of the APPSC, the people of the state will keep their eyes open and do the social budgeting by scanning the real requirement in the highest constitutional body of the state with the sole principle of merit, equity and transparency in serving the people of the state.