This refers to the edit “Vyapam’s larger lesson” (July 7). Higher education, under the aegis of the government is highly subsidised, in sharp contrast to the marked-to-market cost charged by private enterprise. Thus, it makes economic sense to opt for an one-time clandestine investment to secure a seat in a government-run collage. The fact is, despite the huge demand, half the engineering seats in private colleges in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc, do not get filled. The cost differential is just phenomenal and has to be pared down. In a similar vein, the comforts and security of a government job will keep rising even as accountability and efficiency is on the wane. That makes it the most sought after pursuit of the best of men. And no amount of private sector jobs, that are highly demanding of ability, can reduce the charm of sarkari naukri. Scams such as Vyapam, be it in education or jobs, can not be wished away and, indeed, must be happening in other states too. But what is amazing is that this one is as widespread as it is deep-rooted, enveloping the high and the mighty. It must give us all an eerie feeling that the Vyapam scandal is claiming victims by the dozen. The CM of MP has asked for the intervention of CBI far too late in the day. But even all this will not change basic equations of an epidemic that has found deep roots across a nation that has the highest the college-seeking population globally, scrambling for too few a seat. The post-graduation scenario is even worse, particularly in medical, where available seats continue to lag far behind medical aspirants and the overt fees are astronomical. The time has may be come to liberalise the sector and clean the selection processes for government jobs and colleges of the rackets that exist.
This refers to editorial “Vyapam’s larger lesson” (July 7). The scam-related deaths, on one side, point to the prevalence of efficient rackets over administration and government and, on the other, to the ineffectiveness of measures to control and eradicate corruption—this leads to suspicion about likely direct/indirect involvement of political leaders in the scam. That the scam occurred despite the systems and procedures for selecting manpower for various departments of state government, and for admission to educational institutions, urgent, radical reforms in the area of selection process for admission to educational institutions as well as for government jobs are required, to plug all loopholes and eliminate corruption and malpractices. At a time when private sector educational institutions are being able to maintain a high level of discipline and are delivering quality education, why is the government not looking to strengthen the efficiency of its own educational institutions? If it continues to fail, the only option remaining to prevent further Vyapams from happening would be a total privatisation of the education sector, with stringent regulations to ensure corruption-free entrance tests and subsequent admissions. As the magnitude of the Vyapam scam is very high, the government is duty bound to look for CBI investigation to unearth the culprits.
VSK Pillai, Kottayam