The state police have booked over a hundred cases of cheating in the current year and solved most of them. Most of the cases pertain to providing jobs overseas or in government departments. Despite knowing the fact that there have been scores of cases of cheating, gullible people fall prey to the schemes of cheats promising the moon. The cheats manage to lure hundreds of unemployed or semi-employed people into their dragnet and cheat them in the bargain. It has been going on and there seems be no end to it. Before one case of cheating people with offer of jobs ceases to be hot news, another comes up in some other part of the state. Neither the cheats nor the people seem to be influenced by the revelations of the frauds and the arrest and prosecution by the police of the accused. One of the reasons for people being cheated on the promise of providing jobs either in government departments or overseas is lack of job openings in the state. Jobs in the government are obtained in return for a bribe or from the MLA of the constituency, especially if he or she happens to be a minister. Unemployed Goans believe cheats when they say they can get them jobs by paying bribe or persuading a minister or MLA. Nearly half a dozen government employees or people associated with ruling parties have been arrested over the last few years on charges of cheating job seekers.
Seeing the ‘prosperity’ that has come to the persons who work overseas, especially in the Gulf countries, many Goan youth aspire to have a similar career and are ready to ‘invest’ heavily to get the ‘prized’ jobs. The craze for Gulf jobs continues despite the fact that the salaries there have been drastically reduced. The economic recession that the Gulf witnessed in 2008 has forced many companies to lay off their highly paid senior staffers and hire employees at much lower salaries. With the companies on replacement spree many Indians including Goans working in the Gulf countries tend to forego their vacations fearing that they might be retrenched. In what is being seen as a case of charity begins at home, the prosperous Gulf countries are now offering jobs to people from poorer Arab countries to uplift their living standards. The Arabisation of workforce in the Gulf has led to decline in demand for employees from other Asian countries.
The state government, which is the largest employer in the state, has failed to make new recruitments for more than two years. With the openings shrinking in the state government and in the Gulf countries, cheats have mushroomed in a larger number as unemployment has grown and there is a ‘competition’ for grabbing the fewer jobs by hook or crook. Cases of overseas recruitment agencies operated by unscrupulous elements have very often come to light. The trouble is that in the past for Gulf recruitments, the agencies used to take a hefty amount from the recruits. So the Goans aspiring to go to the Gulf fall very easily in the trap of men and women who ask for a huge sum for getting them jobs. After all, everyone who got a job in the Gulf paid the agents!
As far as cheating for government jobs is concerned, the facts are clear. Vacancies in the government departments have not been filled over the last two years. In the past, bribe and politician’s patronage got many jobs in the government departments. Some government servants have been successfully unofficially running agencies for getting people jobs in the government. Goan youth prefer government jobs as it is secure and the work culture is not very demanding. They are ready to part with huge amounts, especially for the jobs in which they can recover the ‘investment’ by taking bribes. In order to ensure that such a vicious circle of corruption is broken, the least the government can do is to make the recruitment process competitive, fair and transparent. That would be good both for the government as well as the unemployed Goans who have merit but no connections or money to pay agents. The recruitments would be entirely on the basis of performance in competitive examinations. When recruitments would be made on merit, the efficiency and work culture in the government would improve. As for the frauds that cheat Goans with promises of overseas jobs, it is the aspiring Goans who must save themselves from falling prey to them. They should go through agencies that have the regulatory approvals and proven credentials.