Illegal appointments

The Government in J&K is the largest employing agency. It means the largest numbers of employed persons who draw salary are on the payroll of the Government. In developed countries, this is not the practice. Private sector employs largest number of workers. Included in private sector are industries, corporations, banks, public service undertakings etc. The private sector is not developed in the State and industries and factories have not grown in numbers and size to make space for youth employment. In other words, the youth have no choices and options to try their luck away from the Government Departments.
Obviously, there is great pressure on the Government to provide employment to the youth especially the educated youth. As a welfare state, the youth have the right to ask for work and employment. There can be only two solutions to the problem. Private sector should develop phenomenally in the State so that large number of vacancies in skilled and unskilled trades are created and filled. The important pre-requisite for promoting private sector employment is that the workforce should have proficiency and skills to find place where these can be utilized. This is the reason why the Government has been seriously considering how to make larger numbers of youth in this country skilled in one or the other profession. Many big business houses and corporate houses have offered to train hundreds of thousands of young people in one or the other skill so that they are able to earn living. A skilled person has far more chances of getting absorbed in some concern or organization in comparison to unskilled labourers.
The reason why our State could not develop industries and private sector to the extent that it would reduce the burden of providing employment to the youth is a serious and rather awkward debate, which we have no intention to rake up. There are number factors like, geography, topography, history, climatic conditions etc. that come up for discussion in this regard. However, the least one can say is that unprincipled politics and willingness on the part of the actors to violate the rules are major reasons for illegal and back door employment in various Government Departments. A plethora of rules and regulations govern the subject of employment in Government service. There are constitutional bodies that manage recruitment to various vacancies in Government Departments. The rules of recruitment, right from the time of notifying a vacancy to the stage of filling it up, are clear and unambiguous. There is nothing wrong in the rules and regulations prescribed for recruitment. If there is anything hindering the process, it is the lengthy and very complicated procedure of recruitment. It takes years to fill the notified vacancies. Neither the youth have time to go on waiting indefinitely nor do the departments wait to fill the vacancies in accordance with the law. A situation arises in which both sides are short of time and patience. This creates very congenial atmosphere for back door and illegal entry into Government service. In addition, when the political influence is there and the willingness of the bureaucracy to compromise on the issue, illegal and back door appointments take place. If the recruitment process is easy and quick, one may say that illegal appointments can be halted and justice will be done to all.
A case of illegal and backdoor entry into Government services was brought to the Division Bench of the High Court in connection with vacancies allegedly filled by making illegal and backdoor appointments in at least 10 departments of the Government. It was under Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The court has observed that these appointments were in violation of the rules and regulations of Civil Services Provision Act. This also violated the clauses of the State and the Indian Constitution.  In March 2013, the State Government issued an order to all the Departments that recruitment against vacant posts in the Government shall be made strictly in accordance with the Civil Services Act. Division Bench of the High Court decreed, “The action of the State in appointing persons through backdoor negates the Constitutional legal rights of the persons, who are residents of the State, and is violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India”.
However, the court has not ruled out the need of the Government to employ casual, temporary and part time laborers and workers to run such errands as cannot be delayed for too long a period. Such cases have to be regularized if need arises through the Service Selecting agency and within their prescribed rules and regulations. It also means that the rights of the labourers have to be upheld in terms of equal pay for equal work and there has not to be any gender discrimination.
This debate boils down to (a) the Government brings about reforms in the process of recruitment particularly at the level of Services Selection Boards. Cutting the time consumed in recruiting is essential (b) put a full stop to backdoor and illegal employment (c) curtail the role of politicos in bringing pressure on Government functionaries, and lastly further streamline self-employment process in the country.


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