To make youth competitive, Goa needs a subordinate staff selection board
IT is an irony that while Goan youth complain of lack of employment opportunities the Goa Public Service Commission (GPSC) has found that there were few takers for the jobs advertised by it. As far as educational qualifications are concerned, there are many youth who have them, but they do not apply for the jobs the GPSC organises competition for. A matter of graver concern is that even out of the small number of applicants, very few pass the competitive tests. Goa is a highly literate state, with around 89 per cent literacy rate. The state has nearly 1.30 lakh youth on the live register of the employment exchange, including thousands with professional degrees. Yet there have been cases when the GPSC had to advertise vacancies multiple times as it failed to get qualified applicants. The recent case is that of recruitment to 24 posts of assistant agriculture officer, which attracted only 117 applicants of whom 99 answered the Computer Based Recruitment Test and only four cleared the tests and were subsequently recommended for appointment.
While thousands scramble for vacancies for group C and D posts in various government departments, the number of those who compete for posts of higher grades of bureaucracy (groups A and B) is comparatively very tiny. Most of the candidates that apply do not prepare hard for the competitive tests. It is common knowledge that recruitments to group C and D posts are controlled and manipulated by the ministers who head their departments. In contrast, those appearing for transparent competitive tests conducted by the GPSC have to depend on their preparations to get selected. Most Goans have got into the habit of securing government jobs with the help of politicians who do it for securing their re-election from their constituency. Merit is not the criterion here. It is the usefulness of the recruit for the politician.
The politicians have spoiled the Goan youth by giving them jobs for their own electoral security. As a result the average Goan does not want to study hard to prepare for GPSC competitive tests for officers’ posts. GPSC chairman Jose Manuel Noronha says there is need for sincerity, dedication and hard work among Goan youth aspiring to crack tougher examinations for recruitment to higher bureaucratic, educational, technical and medical posts.
Lack of competitiveness among Goan youth is visible as none has been able to crack the all India central civil services examination since 2002. The only Goan to have made direct grade to the Indian Administrative Service was Asuthosh Apa Teli Pednekar who was ranked 13th in the UPSC results. In the recent years the number of Goans appearing for civil services examinations has been increasing but it is distressing to note that not a single has been able to qualify for appointment. Goa lacks an institution to help the youth prepare for competitive examinations. The governments of other states have set up institutes to prepare youths for competitive examinations but Goa still does not have one, though part-time arrangements are made to help the students. There are a few private institutions operating in the state. It is high time that the Goa government sets up an institution to train Goans to prepare for UPSC and GPSC competitions.
It is a matter of concern that politicians are making Goan youth dwarfish by misusing their offices to get jobs for youth from their constituencies at the cost of merit. Appointments without merit are ruining the work culture in the government departments. And they are ruining the young generations of Goans who are getting stunted. Politicians use some of those they get recruited for their own political work. The politicians have to stop manipulating the process of recruitment in government departments for their own benefit and ruining the Goan youth. The government must set up a subordinate staff selection board for recruitment to the lower category government jobs. Laxmikant Parsekar as chief minister proposed such a board, but the proposal was killed by politicians. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant must revive the idea and set up a subordinate staff selection board. There is need to develop competitiveness among Goan youth. There is need to save younger generations from getting spoilt with the patronage of politicians.