Herald: Why all 8000 applicants must fail the eligibility test

Why all 8000 applicants must fail the eligibility test

12 Sep 2018 06:17am IST

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Alito Siqueira with Rama Kankonkar and Omkar Govekar

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12 Sep 2018 06:17am IST

Report by
Alito Siqueira with Rama Kankonkar and Omkar Govekar

Leave a comment

In a recent letter to various Government authorities and a press note, GAKUVED (Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation) has called out the Directorate of Accounts advertisement of 80 posts of Accountant on October 30, 2017. Of the 80 posts, 12 posts were reserved for ST, two for SC and 21 for OBC candidates, while five were for other categories. A total of 37 posts (approximately 46%) were reserved.

This seems to fit the provision that reservations cannot exceed 50% of the positions advertised. However, what the advertisement cunningly ignores is that the reservations are meant to ensure that the categories are properly and proportionately represented in the cadre of accountants as a whole, and not merely in this advertisement. The representation in cadre is plotted on a Reservation Roster. By way of analysis of the Reservation Roster of Accountants available with us, it is obvious that the number of persons in the cadre is 93. The number of STs in the cadre is 6, instead of 12% which would come to 11. That constitutes a backlog of 5 persons. The number of OBCs in the cadre are 13 instead of 27% which comes to 25. The backlog here is 12 persons.  In order to ensure that percentage representation in the cadre is fulfilled in the 81st Amendment to the Constitution created a specific category of backlog posts. These posts that are left unfilled from earlier advertisements/recruitments are to be filled by reserved category candidates only and must be advertised and filled before any regular unreserved vacancies are advertised.

The Directorate of Accounts advertisement has completely ignored its backlog. In the Assembly, Members of the House were informed in July 2018 that there were no backlog posts. However, that reservation backlogs exist is apparent from the Reservation Roster which is incomplete and flawed and was last approved more than a decade ago in 2007. For instance, in the promotional cadre for the posts of accountant there are 182 posts. 12% reservation for STs would mean a total of 22 posts.

According to the Promotional Roster only 5 STs are occupying the post of accountant by promotion. This means a backlog of 17 promotional reserved posts of accountants which have been concealed from the Assembly. It is not possible to calculate the backlog for direct recruitment of accountants for reasons given below.

Firstly, the Directorate has under-reported the total number of direct recruits occupying the posts of accountants since 1997. Consequently the percentage of posts earmarked for reservations is also under-reported. 

Secondly, the Reservation Roster is improperly maintained misreporting the shortfall and backlog. This begs the questions: Is this why the advertisement was released without seeking approval for the roster from the Department of Social Welfare? 

Thirdly, reservations for persons with disability have been reduced from three per cent to one, despite a memo from the Commissioner of Disabilities. Besides, disabled candidates can occupy any of the reserved or unreserved positions and hence do not have to be included as a separate category for purposes of reservations. By including them as a separate category for vertical reservations, posts for SC/ST/OBCs are further reduced. 

Fourthly, no reduced qualifying marks in the entrance test have been considered for reserved candidates as required by Law. And finally, a complaint has been filed before the Commissioner of SC & ST calling out the Constitutional violations. However, the Directorate of Accounts has maintained a silence. Is it easier to come up with a spurious justification for the disqualification of all the 8000 candidates than facing charges of violating Constitutional provisions on reservations?

Why we suspect a sinister master plan behind the government’s desire to fill 1500 vacancies through recruitments can be seen through the proposed route map of recruitment of Primary Teachers in Marathi medium.

Consider this: On July 30, 2018, the government told the Assembly that there is a backlog of more than 85 ST vacancies in the post of primary teachers (Listed Assembly Question no. 077 at Sr. No. 53). This backlog has not been advertised as required by Law. But on August 21, 2018, the Directorate of Education announced the vacancies for 182 posts of Primary Teachers (Marathi), of which 91 posts (50%) were reserved for different categories, including 43 only for STs. Since there were 85 backlog vacancies for STs, those should have been advertised expeditiously as soon as the backlog arose and filled before the next round of recruitments so that no further backlogs were added (according to the 81st Amendment of the Constitution and consequential Office Memorandum No. 36012/17/2002- Estt. (Res) dated November 6, 2003).  Subsequently, of the 182 posts advertised, 12 per cent of these (that is, 21 posts) should also have been reserved for ST candidates. Therefore, the total recruitment of ST candidates would number 106 (85+21). However, by totally abolishing the backlog, the Directorate of Education has robbed the ST of 63 posts (106-43) or approximately 60% of their rightful places. Once again the rosters of the Directorate of Education need to be examined. 


(Inputs from members of Social Justice Action Committee and GAKUVED)
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