NSSB recruitment process: Dialogue and magnanimous gesture breaks impasse

Kohima: NSSB on 9 September 2022, announced recruitment date for 614 posts in Levels 4 to 7 pay matrix in various departments of Government of Nagaland

BY | Tuesday, 2 May, 2023

Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) had been a long joint demand from the two apex student bodies of Nagaland – the Naga Students’ Federation and Eastern Naga Students’ Federation dating back to 2019.

The Nagaland Government constituted NSSB on 4 July 2020 and notified the “Nagaland Staff Selection Board Regulations 2020” which came into force on 31 July 2020. All direct recruitment of Group-C posts previously recruited by the Departmental Recruitment Board are to be recruited through NSSB.

On 25 August 2022, Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio expressed his hope that NSSB will build trust through its functioning and provide job opportunities to aspirants without any biases.

Read more: NSSB office cum Official website Launched at Kohima

NSSB on 9 September 2022, announced the date for Common Recruitment Selection Examination (CSRE) for 614 posts in Levels 4 to 7 pay matrix in various departments of Government of Nagaland.

Read more: CRSE 2022: NSSB advertises over 600 vacancies

However, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) on 13 September 2022 said it has taken strong exception to and objects the mode of examination wherein the viva-voce component forms 12.5% of the total marks.

“The newly formed board is going to recruit more than 500 posts in the state of Nagaland and if there is any manipulation or if there are any anomalies in the process of examination in the first cycle of NSSB then it will create lots of misunderstanding where it may even compel the board to collapse,” the federation stated.

Read more: NSF objects to mode of examination set by NSSB

NSF however said that barring interview/viva, it will ensure that the process of examination is conducted in full swing.

On 11 and 12 November 2022, around 50,000 aspirants from across the state appeared for the first NSSB exam.

Aspirants appearing in the NSSB Exams at Government Higher Secondary School Kiphire

The examination was conducted in multiple centres across all districts barring Noklak, Shamator and Nuiland.

Read more: 50,000 Aspirants appear for first NSSB exam

Aspirants expressed confidence that a fair and transparent result was expected and that cases of manipulation would not arise in NSSB.

NSSB notified answer key list on 19 November 2022 and declared the list of candidates selected for viva voce on 29 March 2023.

NSF continued its demand for reduction of the CRSE Personal Interview marks from 12.5% to 5% and warned to boycott the interview process if it is not accepted.

NSF Officials at the Presidential meeting on 17 March 2023 (PC: @TeisuHeraang/ Twitter)

The State Government on 15 April 2023 said that NSSB is trying to put in place a robust, transparent and IT enabled recruitment process and appealed to let the current recruitment process be allowed to continue without change in the interest of the future of meritorious youth.

Read more: Current process should be allowed to continue without change: Govt replies to NSF’s demand to cut CSRE viva-voce marks

NSSB expressed confidence that the interview process will be completed smoothly and transparently, adding that since the current recruitment process was started with existing regulations, it should be allowed to go on without any modifications.

However, NSF called for a ‘peaceful democratic protest’ on 18 April 2023 at NSSB office at Kohima, the day personal interviews for the candidates aspiring for the 630 posts were scheduled to begin.

Read more: NSF to peacefully protest at NSSB Office on Tuesday

On the eve of the interview, Government of Nagaland postponed the process. ‘After due deliberations the Govt. has decided to postpone the personal interview for three days with effect from 18 April, 2023 so as to amicably settle the matter,’ the Government notified NSSB.

Read more: Nagaland Government postpones personal interview for CSRE 2022

Nagaland Minister Temjen Imna Along said the government is ready to re-contemplate on the matter.

Read more: Nagaland Minister Along says women reservation in ULB, CSR2 2023 viva-voce marks need further discussions

He opined that a collective decision will be taken “very early” by the cabinet under Rio’s leadership. The NSF being a very concerned body of the Nagas, the government also needs to listen to their voice, added Along.

NSF on 22 April 2023 declared that the State Government has assured to look into its demand and to examine the entire matter in the next cycle of recruitments in consultation with the Federation.

Read more: Nagaland Govt assures NSF it will examine CRSE viva-voce component for next cycle of NSSB recruitments

The Federation shared its appreciation to the Government for its assurance to address the ‘lacunas’ within the NSSB Regulation 2020.

NSF also expressed gratitude to all its federating bodies and public.

Thereafter, NSSB announced the rescheduled interview process which will begin on 24 April 2023 and will go on till 5 July 2023.

Read more: Nagaland: CSRE 2022 interview process to begin Monday (24 April)

Since its first advertisement for recruitment in 2020, NSSB appears to have undergone significant changes. NSSB will be a very important institution that will shape not only careers, but impact the governance and public service delivery system in Nagaland.  NSSB on its part has performed unblemished; with its processes from applying, admit card issuance, issue of answer key etc being very prompt and IT driven.

Conflicting view of policy matters, which is beyond the control of NSSB, held it back for some time. Dialogue and magnanimous gesture by the Government and the students’ bodies, namely Naga Students’ Federation and Eastern Naga Students’ Federation has broken the impasse.

A prolonged impasse would have been detrimental to the aspirants, their families and the society at large. An impasse in public recruitment examinations, be it due to legal, political or other reasons, significantly harms the study atmosphere and ecosystem, and though not measured, will definitely affect the psychology and economy at the individual and society level.

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