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Growing Backlog Of Vacancies In Govt

On the one hand, the Goa government promises to create jobs for youth, and on the other, thousands of vacancies continue to remain unfilled in various state departments. There are no indications when the vacant posts would be filled up. Heads of government departments lament that vacancy backlog has been growing. There are more than 100 departments and government-run corporations. On an average, 500 government servants reach age of superannuation every month. The government has not undertaken any recruitment for the last three years. No recruitment is likely to take place in the next three to four months. Though Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced in October last year that more than 5,000 vacancies will be filled up in various government departments from December 2017 onwards, nothing has been done in this regard. The government later said it would change its recruitment policy and the vacancies in various departments would be filled up through a new centralized process on yearly basis for which the procedure would be completed in six months. The extended schedule for recruitment too has elapsed and there are no signs of any recruitments being undertaken any time soon.

The recruitment process for group C and D posts in government departments was banned by former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar more than three years ago, a ban that has not been lifted. When the new government took office in March 2017 it promised to clear the backlog of vacancies in various departments but failed to keep its word. However, following representation by ruling party legislators, Parrikar announced the recruitment process would start soon. A committee was appointed by him to assess the requirement of manpower in various departments. The committee has carried out its work but is unable to give its recommendations as Parrikar is not available. The high-powered committee of the government has cleared recruitment of 1,200 personnel, including 900 policemen, but the process continues to be on hold as the minutes await the signature of the Chief Minister. There are over 1.20 lakh applicants on the live registers of the employment exchange waiting for openings to earn their livelihood. The government should remove the constraints and speed up the process of recruitment for them to compete. A sound recruitment policy for government jobs has to be announced and the recruitment process has to be transparent.

The state government has not been able to set up a reliable process for recruitment in various government offices for over decades. Successive governments have been toying with one idea or the other but have failed to frame a transparent recruitment policy. The Digambar Kamat government mooted setting up of subordinate staff selection commission but could not set it up. Successive governments have not been able to come up with a policy. Parsekar had also announced formation of a staff selection board to streamline recruitment but he too failed to follow it up. The Parrikar government came up with the idea of conducting recruitment every year but has not been able to frame modalities and the idea appears to be in limbo because of absence of the Chief Minister. The government should have granted approvals to the heads of the departments to make recruitments. The delay in recruitment would hit the government services as well as cause more anxiety among the unemployed youth. It is high time that the government decides on the issue before the public is inconvenienced and douse the growing resentment among the youth.

The government has to ensure that a fair and transparent system is adopted to make recruitments to fill the vacancies in the government departments. It is a known fact that jobs in government departments often go to those who are ready to pay a bribe or to political party workers or the relatives and sycophants of the ministers and MLAs. The system of debt and obligation and bribery should be stopped and only deserving candidates should be appointed so that they work competently and professionally to improve the functioning of the government offices. The government should also come out with a clear-cut policy on recruitment of the locals in the private sector. In the wake of private companies carrying out recruitment drives in the neighbouring states, the Goa government organized a job fair in the state, though without much success owing to various factors including lower salaries offered by the companies and lack of adequately trained manpower in Goa. All the efforts made by governments to get 80 per cent of jobs in the industries for locals by giving incentives to businesses to provide employment to locals have failed. The scene needs to change.

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