Amendment to Act may render Staff Selection Commission ineffective



Panaji: With an eye on the 2022 state legislative assembly elections, the government has proposed an amendment to the Goa Staff Selection Commission Act 2019 so that the government departments themselves conduct examinations and select candidates for subordinate posts.

With this proposed amendment, it is feared that the three-member Goa Staff Selection Commission, headed by Puneet Kumar Goel, IAS, will become toothless. Besides, the move will also defeat the very purpose of bringing in transparency in the selection process.

It may be noted that the Commission was set up by the state government to allow recruitment for various posts in ā€˜Cā€™ and ā€˜Dā€™ categories in a transparent manner and without any political influence. 

The Commission was also set up with an aim to avoid the recruitment process on multiple occasions.The state cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Goa Staff Selection Commission Amendment Bill 2021, which seeks an amendment to Section 7 of the Goa Staff Selection Commission Act 2019.

As per the cabinet note, the government has stated that the Bill seeks to amend Section 7 of the Goa Staff Selection Commission Act 2019 so as to make an enabling provision for the government departments to conduct examinations and select candidates for appointment to subordinate services/posts after obtaining approval from the department of personnel. It has also stated that the said provision will remain in force for a period of two years from the date of implementation of the Goa Staff Selection Commission (Amendment) Act 2021.

Citing a reason for the amendment to the Act, the government has said that a lot of time will be required for finalising regulations and putting in place the necessary infrastructure for the Goa Staff Selection Commission. Besides, requirement of the services of the staff associated with the Commission for training in mass recruitment and the use of the latest technology for transparent examination and recruitment through the Commission will also require some time, the government has said.

The government further said that it had banned recruitment through the departments in 2016 and deferred recruitment upto November 2020, which has led to extensive vacancies in government departments and hence there is a need to fill the vacant posts on priority to strengthen the administrative machinery.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been making announcement that there are 10,000 vacancies in government departments and the process of recruitment would begin soon.

The motive of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government is quite clear that it wants to fill vacancies in the departments before the end of the current tenure of the legislative assembly.

The ruling dispensation has realised that if job recruitments is carried out through the Staff Selection Commission then there will be no scope to select candidates of their choice. Thus, the government intends to amend the Goa Staff Selection Commission Act in the upcoming assembly session.