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A subordinate staff selection board must to end recruitment without merit

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has announced that the government would shortly start the process to fill 5,000-plus vacancies in departments and corporations. These posts have been approved by the administrative reforms department and inter-departmental committee of officers. Many of these posts have been lying vacant for more than two years. In addition to these posts, 3,000 to 4,000 posts are waiting to be created by various departments and corporations and would be filled following approval of the administrative reforms department and inter-departmental committee of officers. The government has received 70 proposals for creation of posts from various departments and corporations and a decision on sanctioning them would be taken up after due scrutiny. The recruitment must be taken up speedily as it would help the government departments and corporations to offer better services to the people.

The vast majority of the young people whose names are on the live register of the employment exchange should not entertain hopes though that they would all get government jobs. Government jobs have always been sought after for job security, but in recent years the salaries have also substantially improved making it even more sought after. Though the Chief Minister said his government was making efforts to open up job opportunities for Goan youth in the private sector, there are a lot of complexities involved in making it happen. With more than 1.30 lakh on the live register of the employment exchange and their number increasing year after year the state government would have to find other ways to help the youth get employed. There are not many takers for jobs in the private sector. Among the prime reasons for Goan youth shunning private sector jobs is lack of job security, lower wages and transport. The government has been talking of and taking measures to facilitate employment of Goan youth in the private sector. The industry has its own explanation for not having Goans as hundred per cent of its workforce. There are Goans in the supervisory grades but at the base levels there are fewer Goans. There is a tendency being observed that owing to lack of right employment opportunities many youth who have degrees in engineering, law or other professional subjects are seeking jobs of lower grades. The industry can find recruits from such applicants.

The state government has over 55,000 employees and another 10,000 are likely to be added in the near future. The government is contemplating handing over the process of conduct of written tests to the Goa University, the Goa Education Development Corporation, polytechnics and other institutions. Though this could reduce the scope for arbitrary recruitment at the instance of ministers, the government needs to set up a subordinate staff selection board to make the recruitment process free from influence and favouritism. There is need for a uniform selection process for recruitment of staff in class C and D categories. Recruitments through a staff selection board would force the Goan youth to prepare for tests and interviews which would generate a culture of competitiveness that has been missing in them. The evolution of such a culture would also prepare them for answering national competitive examinations.

The state government must employ the best available hands for the departments and corporations through a fair and transparent system. Almost all other states have a recruitment system in place. The proposal for a staff selection board has been pending in Goa for long. It has been blocked owing to the common interest of the politicians in power to continue to go on obliging men and women in their constituencies and use them as their political canvassers and campaigners during elections and in between elections. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant would be remembered for dismantling this unfair and corrupt system by which for years men and women have been recruited to government departments and corporations even though they did not have the merit for the job. The government should quickly set up a subordinate staff selection board and select a person of high morality and proven qualities to head it. Any ‘political appointment’ to the office would defeat the purpose of establishing a fair and transparent system.

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