MPSC aspirant suicide: Family slams govt’s ‘negative’ approach, says son wouldn’t have died if interviews held on time

Political leaders, govt servants call for revamp of system to make it student-friendly.

A DAY after a 24-year-old MPSC aspirant, Swapnil Lonkar, died by suicide, political leaders and retired government servants have called for a revamp of the existing system of Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), so as to make it student-friendly and avoid such incidents in future. The candidate’s family have blamed the MPSC and the government for their “negative” approach that led to Lonkar’s death.

Lonkar died by suicide on Saturday afternoon at his residence in Hadapsar. Swapnil’s mother said, “Had the MPSC held the interviews on time, my son would not have died.”

The family said he was eagerly awaiting an interview call for two years. “Swapnil had cleared his prelims and mains two years ago, and was since waiting for an interview call and job with MPSC. He was embarrassed that he could not lend monetary support to the family. As we struggled to pay EMI on a loan for a new house, he became more frustrated… only the poor suffer such a fate, a minister’s son would never suffer this way. How then will the government realise the plight of the poor?” his mother asked.

The family said in his note, Swapnil had written that they should raise the issue of his death publicly.

“Swapnil had cleared his MPSC prelims in 2019. He was in a state of depression as the interview had not taken place,” said sub-inspector Ravindra Dhaware of Hadapsar police station, who was quoting a note found the candidate’s residence.

Slamming the functioning of MPSC system, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Our youngsters have high hopes from MPSC. Swapnil’s death highlights that there is something wrong in the way MPSC functions. Exams and interviews are not conducted on time, leading to frustration among hopefuls. I think the entire MPSC system and functioning should be revamped. The MPSC has been given autonomy to act effectively and not behave otherwise.”

Rohit Pawar of the NCP said, “The younger generation is in a state of depression. I request the government to speed up interviews and appointments to avoid such unfortunate deaths.”

State tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said, “Some solution will have to be found to avoid such deaths. The state cabinet will discuss the issue…”

Retired IAS officer Mahesh Zagade said, “MPSC aspirants should have two plans — plan A and plan B. If one plan does not work out, they should rely on the second plan. MPSC exam should always be plan B. Plan A should be job, farming, business.”

Describing Lonkar’s death as unfortunate, BJP national secretary Pankaja Munde said, “If MPSC and the government do not take a timely decision, such tragedies are going to occur. Swapnil Lonkar is a victim of the system.”

Farmer leader Raju Shetti said, “Though he had cleared prelims and mains, the interview could not be held for two years, which led to his frustration. I request all students not to resort to such an extreme step.”

Santosh Shinde, who heads Pune Sambhaji Brigade, said, “A case of culpable homicide should be filed against MPSC officials who delayed interviews. Even recruitment of 12,000 police personnel has been announced, but there is no sign of it yet.. Our system is responsible for the frustration and hopelessness among youths. How many more youngsters like Swapnil will die before the government wakes up?”

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