Meghalaya: Chaotic scene outside GPO Shillong irks students, NEHU clarifies
A chaotic scene was witnessed outside the General Post Office (GPO) in Shillong on Wednesday, as students were seen lining-up to submit their answer scripts to their respective institutions via post.
The alleged mismanagement of the answer-script submission process at the GPO has irked the students who felt that the situation was "risky" and "unsafe".
Students had lined-up in front of the GPO since Tuesday to submit their answer sheets and assignments for different exams conducted by the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU).
It was witnessed that while COVID-19 protocols like social distancing were maintained inside the office, the scene, however, was not the same outside.
“We came here for submitting the answer scripts. We had waited for two hours and it is frustrating; it is not safe. We had submitted the answer scripts online but they (NEHU) wanted the hard-copy as well,” said a 6th-semester student.
Another student from St. Anthony’s College said that though social distancing is maintained inside, the situation outside is chaotic.
“I feel like they should have scheduled timings for different streams’ students so that it will be helpful and, social distancing would have been maintained. We don’t feel safe but we have to submit our answer scripts,” she said.
Meanwhile, an argument also broke out between the officials and a radio jockey when he had sought an explanation over the situation.
Speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, Senior Post Master Kerlinmon Kharshandi rejected the mismanagement allegations. “What mismanagement? Outside I should not manage anything; I have to manage only inside,” she said.
Furthermore, she clarified that all protocols are being maintained inside the post office like measuring the temperature, social distancing and use of hand sanitisers.
“In the counters, there is no rush; the rush is outside. I have two persons to monitor the line but these students, they disobey. We have reported the matter to the deputy commissioner. I have also called the police to manage the situation,” said Kharshandi.
When asked whether the office has the capacity and manpower to manage this kind of rush, the official said, “As much as we can, we will do. We will help the students send the answer scripts to their respective institutions.”
She informed that more counters were opened because of the rush. “Usually, we have only two counters but since yesterday, we have arranged for more counters,” she added.
NEHU CLARIFIES, COLLEGES SAY OTHERWISE
When contacted, an official from NEHU clarified that there is no deadline to submit the answer scripts via post. "There is no deadline mentioned in the the SOP; after the exams, students can send it (answer scripts) through the colleges not directly to us," said an official from NEHU.
He informed that students have been asked to submit their answer scripts either through registered mail or speed-post as proof that the submission has been completed.
"That was the idea. They (students) may also give it directly to the colleges," he said adding that the speed-post option is meant for outstation students and those who stay in far-flung areas.
Stressing on the need for submission of hard-copies, the official said it is important in case there is a requirement for RTI reply in the future or for evaluation procedures.
Stating that NEHU has left it to the wisdom of the colleges to decide on the mode of submission, the official said, "At the end of the day, we want those scripts through the colleges to us. How they get it, the colleges can decide."
"It depends on the colleges whether they accept the scripts through speed post or other modes," he added.
However, colleges in Shillong have referred to the directive issued by NEHU on September 28, 2020 where it was clearly stated that hard-copies of all answer scripts are to be submitted together to the college concerned by registered mail/speed post on completion of the examination.