Friday, December 1, 2023

Kishore Poreddy Column: Jobseekers pay a heavy price for powermongers’ greed

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In a video that went viral on social media recently, we can see a young woman – maybe in her early twenties, pleading in a tremulous voice and requesting our Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao, his son Taraka Ramarao, nephew Harish Rao and Sabitha Indra Reddy — all Ministers in his cabinet, to fill the posts notified by the government. It is impossible for anyone not to feel the agony of the young lady when she describes her distress with the uncertainty surrounding the recruitment process for government jobs in Telangana. In less than two to three minutes, she explains how her parents, with six kids, had sacrificed everything to give them education, how all she wants in her life is to support her family and make their parents’ lifelong sacrifices mean something. She is not demanding a job but is apparently giving a shot at getting one.

Millions of Telangana youth have endured similar pain repeatedly during the two terms of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s rule in Telangana. Youth lost all hope of getting a fair deal regarding the promised government jobs. Some even committed suicide after having waited for years, unable to bear the psychological pressure of repeated cancellations of notifications and examinations for government jobs. The story of the young lady in the video is not unique. Many youth had sacrificed their lives during the movement for a separate Telangana, believing people could gain control over its neellu (water), nidhulu (funds) and especially, niyaamakaalu (recruitments). Alas! That was never to be – under the BRS government.

Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao came to power promising one job per family. The Biswal Committee, after its study, reported 1.91 lakh job vacancies in the state administration and determined that the government is operating at only 61% strength. The BRS government promised time and again to fill the vacancies. Yet, to date, job aspirants have faced only a series of disappointments.

The pattern around filling government jobs ever since the formation of Telangana and BRS coming to power in the state has been the same. The government promises that the vacancies will be filled soon (twaralo). Minister after Minister makes grand announcements, especially from the Chief Minister’s family. Only after intense pressure from aspirants does the government issue a notification for one or the other job.

One of three outcomes awaits almost every job notification by the BRS government. The courts invalidate the notification because of defects in it, or, if it passes legal muster, the question papers for the selection exams leak, or the government botches up the conduct of the exam, leading to its cancellation. The recent High Court single judge order, reaffirmed by a High Court bench, cancelling the Group-I Prelims exam conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) is an example. This exam was cancelled for the second time — once due to the question paper leak, and now because the government did not follow the condition in the notification for the conduct of the examination.

It is not that recruiting for government jobs is an impossible task. Through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Central Government notifies vacancies, conducts exams, and issues appointments to new civil servants every year -it goes on like clockwork, without any issues. Another example is the special drive of Rozgar Mela, which the Prime Minister announced last year. He vowed to fill 10 lakh vacancies in the Central government on mission mode within 18 months. Starting in October of the previous year, the Central government has recruited more than five and a half (5.5) lakh youth. In the latest tranche, only a few days back, more than 50,000 aspirants received their appointment letters after clearing the selection process.

The more than half a million vacancies filled were from varied ministries and departments. For example, the Home Ministry filled positions in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) such as CRPF, BSF, SSB, Assam Rifles, CISF, ITBP, Narcotics Control Bureau and the Delhi Police. Posts, Railways, Audit & Accounts, Atomic Energy, Revenue, Higher Education, Defence, Health&Family Welfare, and many more departments completed the selection process and made appointments.

Not just the UPSC, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), and many other recruitment boards and departmental agencies have conducted the recruitment process with little ado. There were no faulty notifications, delays, leaks, or accusations of corruption in any of them. Fairness, transparency, and speed characterised the entire process.

Recruitment to government jobs has been happening since the British times. A well-oiled process has existed for a long time – both at the central and state levels.
Such recruitments were done routinely, even in the combined Andhra Pradesh state. It is no rocket science. With the success of Chandrayaan, ISRO has shown even rocket science is easy for Indians.

The only rational explanation is that the BRS-run government emptied the state coffers and sees recruits as an additional burden when it cannot even pay its current employees’ salaries on time. Where did all that money go? Only the Chief Minister can answer the question. But one thing is sure. The youth of this new state had to pay the highest price – their future, for the greed of those in power.

(The author is BJP TS spokesperson)

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