45,000 vie for 1,500 posts in Meghalaya police

SHILLONG, Dec 5 – There are more athletes here than in the London, Beijing, Athens and Sydney Olympics put together and the competition is fierce where contestants are fighting it out in the gruelling 10 km and 5.5 km race, day and night.

Welcome to the recruitment rally for the post of unarmed and armed police constables in Meghalaya police department. More than 45,000 candidates have submitted their form for about 1,500 openings.

And with the recruitment process beginning from November 26, candidates from far-flung regions of the State are putting all their effort to run 10 kms in under one hour in the case of male candidates and 5.5 km in forty minutes for women candidates.

The test is being held every day and also in some instances in the night under flood lights, where about 1,500 candidates are taking the test daily in two centres, one at 1st Battalion, MLP Mawiong, East Khasi Hills district and the other at 2nd Battalion, MLP Goeragre, East Garo Hills district.

“The test begins at 10 am. We are able to take the test of about 1,500 applicants in a day. The process would continue till the 45,000 odd candidates take their test. We are also conducting the test in the evening under lights or else we would not be able to complete the recruitment process on time,” BL Buam, additional director general of police, said.

The Meghalaya police, Buam said, first printed 20,000 forms, but due to the overwhelming response, it printed another 20,000, but when that too was not sufficient, it decided to print 1.2 lakh forms and distributed across the State.

In the 10 km run for male candidates, the field at Mawiong represents a fierce battlefield where ambulances and medics are present with other policemen neatly queuing up rows of water bottles for the contestants who run 25 laps to complete 10 kms and 14 laps in the case of female candidates.

The candidates, moreover, have signed a bond that the board would not be held responsible in case of any eventuality and only those medically fit are encouraged to undergo the test.

The race again is being held with the help of advanced technology. Radio Frequency Identification tags are fitted on the contestants legs, which gives the exact timing of the runners from the start to the finish.

These are studied by experts and the contestants are given their result there and then. Those who qualify would be eligible to sit for the written test to be held later and those who don’t have to bid adieu.

“We have done away with measurement of chest, and other eligibility requirement done previously such as high and long jump, etc., as it is felt that a contestant who can run 10 km (and 5.5 km for women) under one hour is medically fit enough to take up the rigours of a policemen,” Buam said.

Buam believes that the run would take another 15-20 days to be completed going by the number of applicants. The multiple choice written test would be on English grammar, science, arithmetic and general knowledge. The answer sheet would be optical mark recognition for quick and transparent evaluation.

Finally, the personal interviews would be held and the entire proceedings would be held on camera. “We want to do away with this fear of nepotism and biasness in the entire recruitment process,” Buam added.