Manipur Education Scandal: 3 Officers Suspended Over CBSE Affiliation Fraud

Manipur Education Scandal: 3 Officers Suspended Over CBSE Affiliation Fraud

CBSE cancels affiliations; 3 Manipur officers suspended over alleged paperwork fraud.

Siksha MUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 04:04 PM IST
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In a shocking development, 3 key education officers in Manipur have been suspended amid allegations of fraud related to the affiliation of schools with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). This action follows the CBSE's decision to cancel the affiliation of 25 schools in the state, citing paperwork fraud, on December 20, 2023.

Fraudulent paperwork exposed

According to the NDTV reports, the CBSE's move was prompted by the revelation that the state government had not issued the necessary no-objection certificates (NOCs) to the schools seeking affiliation. State board schools are legally required to obtain NOCs from the state government before applying for central board affiliation, as per CBSE bylaws.

The suspended officers include Jangkhohao Haokip, the Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) of Churachandpur, Lhingtinneng, ZEO of Kangpokpi, and L Taithul, the District Inspector (DI) of Schools in Churachandpur's Samulamlan village. The Directorate of Education in Imphal has assumed control as the headquarters for the two ZEOs and the DI of schools. The order restricts the suspended officers from leaving the headquarters without government permission, pending disciplinary action.

Affiliation timeline raises questions

The controversy highlights a broader issue, as 11 of the 25 schools obtained CBSE affiliation between May 2020 and May 2023, while 14 received affiliation in the past eight months. The state government, however, claims it had not issued any NOCs since May 2020, according to the media reports.

Education Minister Th Basanta had taken the matter to the Union Education Ministry secretary, resulting in the CBSE's decision to revoke the affiliations of the 25 schools. The shift from state to central board in the two "hill districts" was seen as an attempt to formalize a new arrangement amid ongoing clashes between Kuki tribes and Meiteis since May 3, 2023.

Kuki civil society groups argue that the suspension of the officers is an attempt to harass them. The Kuki Students' Organisation decried the move, stating that the officials had committed no suspension-worthy mistakes, raising questions about due process and fair treatment.

Meanwhile, school principals in Kangpokpi criticized the authorities for focusing on procedures amidst ethnic clashes, emphasizing the students' need for academic continuity, whether under CBSE or the state board. They cited logistical challenges in coordinating with the education department amid deep ethnic divides and mistrust.

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