This one came as a real shocker for me especially since this came under the rule of a lady who specializes in building multi-crore monuments to herself, hosting multi-crore birthday parties for herself and wearing multi-crore garlands made of 1000 buck notes, all the while waving her "Dalit ki beti (A Dalit's daughter)" card and blaming everything under the sun on "manowaadi tatwa (Rogue capitalist elements)" conspiracies. The BSP government in Uttar Pradesh headed by Mayawati fired 18000 policemen hired during the previous regime of Mulayam Singh Yadav on charges that there was something fishy in the way the written exam was conducted and selections were made. So... I thought now they'll be replaced by 18000 policemen who toe Mayawati's line then.
Surprisingly and gladly enough, I was totally off target. The written exam was re-conducted for close to 26000 candidates this year and the answers were on an OMR (Those black circly exam sheets that never caught my fancy) sheet. One copy of the answer sheet was submitted and one duplicate was taken home by the candidate. The results were then published online with a scanned copy of the examinee's mark sheet and a sheet with all the correct answers. In the physical tests for police entry, there is a 10 km run for men and 5 km run for women, for which biochips were placed on the candidates to accurately note performances and prevent to a very large degree, bias towards a particular person and manipulation of figures.
Whoever was in charge of doing this in the administration (IAS/IPS etc) must be a miracle worker! Sure, it's not a foolproof method of police selection and I doubt that there will ever be one but none can deny this is a massive massive jump towards transparency and fairness. Most importantly, it's a finger stabbed into the cynical eyes who say that nothing of merit is ever possible in this country, spoilt to the core by the worms of corruption and nepotism. Like it or not, India is moving up the ladder. It might not be the surge that jingoistic political leaders who promise to turn Mumbai into Shanghai fib about but someone somewhere is working their magic in small but significant ways. Through a small clear section of the otherwise muddy glass, we are getting glimpses of the wonderful world that lies beyond!