Guwahati, Thursday, October 17, 2013

Govt inaction deprives local aspirants
SIVASISH THAKUR
 GUWAHATI, Oct 16 – At a time when the burgeoning unemployment problem has emerged as a serious concern in Assam, failure of the State Government to ensure implementation of the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act in notifying the Central sector vacancies to the local employment exchanges has effectively distanced many aspiring job-seekers from access to information on recruitment drives.

 Matters have been made worse by the reluctance on the part of the departments/ministries concerned of the Government of India to advertise vacancies through vernacular newspapers whereas highlighting such vacancies through at least one or two leading local language newspapers would have helped the local prospective candidates. The failure to adhere to this desirable practice has particularly affected the job-seekers for grade C and D vacancies. The situation has also resulted in an overwhelming number of applicants from outside the State competing for local jobs compared to the number of local applicants.

Acknowledging the problem, sources in the Labour and Employment Department told The Assam Tribune that guidelines were being issued from time to time to all the administrative departments and all PSUs/Central PSUs operating in the State to strictly comply with the provisions of the Act. The response, however, has not been up to the desired level so far.

“Many major employers from the government sector are seen to be publishing their advertisements for recruitment of employees in their office through newspapers without notifying those to local employment exchanges, ignoring the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act-1959 and Rules there under. We have issued letters calling for strict compliance, failing which legal action would be initiated,” sources said.

There is also a judgement by the Supreme Court in this regard in the case of Excise Superintendent, Malkapatnam, Krishan district, Andhra Pradesh Vs KBN Visweshwara Rao & Others.

An advertisement in January this year by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, for recruitment to vacancies for Group ‘C’ posts of LDC, Fireman and Mazdoor was published only in one English newspaper of Assam, ignoring the vernacular dailies. Nor was the local employment exchange taken into confidence for the purpose.

Sources said that there were few local applicants compared to an overwhelming number of applicants from outside for the posts of 85 numbers of civilian mazdoors and two numbers of Group C staff for the 222 Advanced Base Ordinance Depot (ABOD), Narangi Cantonment under the Ministry of Defence.

“Such vacancies are generally published in the national newspapers and recruitments done on all-India basis, and as a result, the local unemployed people are deprived from getting employed in grade III and IV posts. In this particular instance, a large majority of those selected were from outside the State,” sources said.

Sources also pointed out that till some years back, the process for such recruitment involved invitation of applications through local employment exchanges and not through mass publicity, ensuring that the local unemployed got precedence in recruitment. “If this system of recruitment through local employment exchanges is resorted to, it would greatly benefit the local unemployed youths at a time when unemployment is all-time high in Assam and other parts of the North-east,” sources added.