The MBBS scholarship examination conducted by the Ministry of
Education (MoE) is considered to be prestigious because those vying for
the scholarships are among the best of students. The awardees who clear
the hurdle have the opportunity to study in medical colleges affiliated
to Tribhuvan University or Kathmandu University. This means that the
examinees must have made their studies to take the exam very seriously
as only the meritorious ones can make it. This time some 8,500 students
had applied to take part in the scholarship examination. But, such
examinations often are associated with racketeers trying to make a fast
buck banking on the willingness of some students to pay for having the
leaked question papers passed on to them for a heavy price. Like it has
happened in the past with the entrance examination for admission to the
Institute of Medicine of Tribhuvan University MBBS stream, this time the
question papers of the MoE was leaked by the staffs of one of the
colleges where the examination centre was located. The breach of trust
by the accused is a serious crime.
In all this scenario leading to the arrest of the perpetrators, the role of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has been exemplary. Its proactive role in tracking the racketeers over time led to their arrests which possibly would not have happened otherwise. Such abuse of authority by the said people in supposedly responsible positions is quite unfortunate. The lure of money seems to have proved too overwhelming for them to play the racketeers and is quite appalling. The infiltration of corrupt people in the educational institutions goes to the extent of highlighting the decadence that has set in and no sector has been left untouched. However, the duo nabbed maybe just the tip of the whole network, the necessity then is for the CIAA to conduct a full probe into the case focusing on the MoE officials concerned and all those related from question setting, selection, printing and all the way to the distribution of the question papers to the examination centres on the day of the examination.
The deplorable manner in which people in positions indulge in corruption is but an affirmation of the Transparency International’s report launched recently that Nepal is sliding down in the corruption index. In fact, the whole system of holding such examinations needs a radical reform, but the moral standing is for the individuals to cultivate, and that seems to be lacking when it comes to extra income in millions. The stranglehold of the racketeers must be broken so that the genuine, hardworking examinees do not suffer while the bad fish avail the scholarships. Besides the probe that the anti-graft body will conduct, the MoE, the educational institutions and other stakeholders ought to investigate as to why such dishonourable activity has become a norm. This is a serious case and it has bared the hollow base of morality that people in positions stand on. Some lakhs of rupees are enough to sway them. Therefore, they must be awarded with punishment that will prove to be a deterrence to others with similar intentions.
Note:This Editorial was published on 8th December in The Himalayantimes English Daily