UP was shepherded badly into regional politics for the past decade and imbibed casteism and crime. Last few weeks however have witnessed a sea of change. The furor caused by selection of a so called polarizing figure in the eyes of the media in form of Yogi Adityanath quickly paved way for his untimely bold decisions. Lucknow has shown signs of the state indeed coming of age and truly transforming itself. As the Ayodhya temple issue was thought out to be Yogi’s principal bone of contention, he has quickly taken corrective measures that has emboldened hope of UP becoming an ‘Uttam Pradesh’
From asking his ministers to declare assets within fifteen days to enforcing ban on eating gutka in government premises, CM Yogi is task managing his role efficiently. The other aspect is the ban on illegal slaughter houses which received too much of a spotlight in the media circles. It certainly appealed to their suggestive narrative that CM Yogi was on an authoritarian drive coaxed by religious inclination.
Unfortunately, the media coverage always hovers around those parts which suit their unspoken agenda. When much of the focus was on banning slaughter houses and romanticising ‘tunday’, CM Yogi was embroiled in taking effective steps to curb eve teasing and taking on the cheating mafia. Now the former still did obtain media coverage but the latter somewhere did not get that required media glare which was essential.
UP and Bihar are known as hotbeds for nefarious cheating or copying mafia. Last year, few students were apprehended as they topped board exams by such unfair means. The cheating syndicate consisted an assorted group of individuals including board officials, invigilators and teachers who facilitated the whole process. Activities comprising of supplying chits, transporting answer sheets out of halls, copying answers using guides and replacing answer sheets in examinations by the ones written by experts have found to be making headlines in the past. The advent of cheating mafia was somehow effective in networking and spreading its web owing to an ineffectual SP govt and other administrations ruling in the past. According to UP Madhyamik Shikshak Sanghs state secretary, there is a collusion of education officials with the mafia. This may have been compounded by a decade of slumbering governments turning a blind eye to the menace whereas involvement of politicians in this mess cannot be certainly ruled out.
This mass practice of abetting cheating mafia and the board exams coincided with Yogi administration coming to power in UP.
Along with other arenas, this issue also obtained tremendous backing by the newly elected govt with many instantaneously proactive steps were taken to curb the mafia.
The state govt started with a toll-free number where complaints can be heard or registered. Nevertheless, over the past some days, the state administration filed cases against 111 center heads, 178 supervisors and thousands of students. Some centers were stopped from holding exams and in few of them, they were terminated. Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma who also is allotted the education portfolio held video conferencing with district magistrates to make directives into tackling these copying elements and issued imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 surrounding exam centers. He even added that whats-app numbers too have been launched to ensure immediate communication of rampant malpractices are made.
Just as CM Yogi paid a surprise visit to a police station, Minister Sharma did the same to some centers in the state and neighboring Barabanki. Promises have also been made to bring out components of the ‘Nakal mafia’ and expose them so that they can be grilled and the entire network can be serially busted. These actions have also been ably supported by mass transfers of 327 administrators which also indicated a major overhauling purview is underway in the state in lieu with the education mafia.
The major problem in education has been the lack of proper infrastructure and dearth of good teachers and schools. The condition of primary and secondary education is abysmally poor and a grass root restructuring of the same was required. The whip directed by CM Yogi in eradicating ‘cheating mafia’ is seemingly revolutionary when the whole apparatus was in shambles under the watch of the previous administrations.
As a matter of fact, former CM Akhilesh Yadav had distributed laptops to students and CM Yogi has initiated radical ideas to help secure their future. In the quest to establish a vote bank, SP indulged in freebies in contrast with CM Yogi who is vying to resurrect education system in the state. This glaring difference is the foundation on why the SP govt was voted out and rejected by the youth who now are finding hope in the current Yogi administration.
Anti Romeo squads, building of sanitation and fighting corruption may have grabbed eyeballs and appreciation. But efficacious operations to weed out and clean the education sector is the best move made and handled by CM Yogi and his government. There is a sheer optimism these efforts will sustain and continue with more expeditions expected to make education better in UP.