Manipur Education Department Officers Apologize for Irregularity in NOCs Issuance

Three senior officers from the Manipur Education Department, who were suspended on January 12, have reportedly submitted written apologies acknowledging their involvement in the “irregularity in issuing no-objection certificates (NOCs)” to schools in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts seeking CBSE affiliation.

The officers, including two zonal education officers and a deputy inspector of schools, cited “pressure” from elected representatives, civil society organizations, and student bodies as the reason behind their unilateral actions without the state government’s permission.

Four MLAs from Churachandpur and two from Kangpokpi districts allegedly influenced these officers to issue the NOCs. The CBSE had canceled the affiliation of 25 schools in these districts on December 20, 2023, as the necessary NOCs were not provided by the state government. The officers’ apology letters revealed their awareness of procedural violations but cited external pressures amid ongoing ethnic conflict as reasons for their actions.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) mandates that state board schools obtain NOCs from the state government before applying for central board affiliation. The change in education boards from state to central in the two districts was seen as an attempt to formalize a new arrangement amid ethnic strife. The apology letters, submitted by Churachandpur ZEO Jangkhohao Haokip, Kangpokpi ZEO Lhingtinneng Singsit, and Deputy Inspector of School L. Taithul, acknowledge the procedural violations while emphasizing their compelled submission to external pressures during the ongoing ethnic conflict.

The officers’ suspension resulted from their role in the issuance of NOCs without proper authorization, leading to the cancellation of CBSE affiliation for several schools in Manipur. Kuki-Zo civil society groups protested the suspension, alleging harassment by the government.

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