Vacancies of worry

February 14, 2018 EDITORIAL 49 Views
Vacancies of worry

The PDP-BJP led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has failed to address some core issues. Employment is one of the major concerns for the agitating youth. A senior government official reportedly revealed that 41,147 posts were lying vacant in as many as 37 government departments. These include both gazetted and non-gazetted posts with the education department leading in the number of vacancies – over 11,500. It is dismaying given the high rate of unemployment in the state, an issue that has kept governments as well as officials on tenterhooks. The PDP’s founder and former Chief Minister immediately after becoming chief minister took some major decisions – one of them was appointing professionally trained journalists and mass communication professionals into the State’s Department of Information and Public Relations – Which highlights the government’s major activities and does the public relations activities. Nearly 50 professionals were appointed in a phased manner and it really took the department to the new heights. However government has failed to give any way to them as they continue to work on contract basis. Different political parties, whether they have been part of the government’s ruling party or served as opposition, have used unemployment as a plank to win elections. Manifestoes and poll promises are woven with threads like ushering an era of peace and prosperity, reducing unemployment in the state, and as has been seen in recent times projecting development as the missing link in the state’s lag on all fronts. In the previous government led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the government declared that there were 80,000 vacancies in different government departments. The then Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said (in beginning 2013) that the vacant posts will be filled in two years time. Even Omar Abdullah in January that year said about the fast track recruitments and maintained that employment generation was top priority of the government. Interestingly, Rather’s two years were also the last two of that government’s term of six years. In 2018 government official reveals that as many as half of that number (80,000) is still lying vacant. If that pace is maintained, the vacancies cannot be expected to be filled till the year 2022. Vacancies in government departments – is not the only concern shared by people as well as those representing their constituencies. As has been witnessed recently, the ruling and opposition leaders have been wrangling over the number of employees figure. Allegations of backdoor entries have also become a common subject in the political language. These accusations are only marked with the role reversal between the ruling and the opposition parties. Although there has been a surge in different selection and recruitment lists that have been emerging frequently in the last few years and the tardy selection and recruitment process has been ruled out, the government has not been able to enhance transparency in the processes. There is a lot to be done by the chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti herself to mitigate the sufferings of the professionals working in various departments of the State government. It’s for her to act now or to leave them in disarray.

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