Character certificates

I think character certificates are unnecessary (even bordering on stupid). Especially the kind that requires us to visit a member of legislative assembly or a gazetted officer (managerial ranked public official in India). Some organizations and/or institutions require it’s employees/students to produce one as part of their documentation process.

As much as I respect the need to have the correct documentation I despise silly requests that doesn’t make sense. Why would you require a character certificate in the first place? Wouldn’t a background check (which these days include a criminal record check with more than a 100 international agencies) suffice? And how would these public officials know anything about your character? Even if they do what’s the likelihood that they would recommend that you do not hire or grant admission to the person in question?

I know a lot many questions than answers. But that’s the point — we don’t have answers to these questions because the concept doesn’t make sense. If the idea is to be cautious while hiring or admitting someone, it’s clearly not working because none of the public officials would give more than 60 seconds to a document that was written by you before officially signing and stamping it.

Some of the government banks in India used to have a similar system years back (I’m not to sure if it’s still there but my gut says some banks still do this) where opening an account it literally impossible if an account holder from that branch introduces you. It’s crazy. I remember close to 12-14 years back I wanted into this government bank to open an account. The official told me abou this ‘policy’ of having an introduction. I told him I didn’t know anyone who has an account there but I do have every document that’s required to open an account. He promptly replied, “well, find one!”

For some reason, I wasn’t furious or flabbergasted. Just found the situation funny. I said, “well, now that we’re chatting… we sort of know each other. Can you introduce me?” He asked me to leave. And I never opened an account with that bank. (Don’t regret it a bit!)

I really wish all we needed was a character certificate to get admissions into top universities, get jobs at the best organizations and/or get a bank loan. But we know that isn’t enough. In fact, it’s nothing compared to every other documentation that’s required to get any of the above done.

And if that’s the case why even bother with such an unwarranted hassle? It’s just not worth it. Unless, of course, you don’t have any respect for your and other person’s time.

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