The District Administrations were directed to make fool-proof arrangements for safety and security of candidates, maintenance of law & order and smooth conduct of examination.
Team Haryana First
Chandigarh: Haryana Staff Selection Commission is going to conduct written exam for the Post of PTI on August 23, 2020 (Sunday) from 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm in 5 districts namely Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Kaithal and Hisar.
The exam is going to be held in compliance of orders of Supreme Court of India in SLP No. 35373 of 2013 in Civil Appeal No 2103 of 2020 according to which ‘Commission shall conclude the entire selection process initiated by advertisement No. 6 of 2006 as per criterion notified on December 28, 2006 i.e, holding objective type written test of 200 marks and viva-voce of 25 marks.’
As many as 9273 candidates have been issued admit cards for which total 95 exam centres have been established across five districts.
On August 19, 2020, the Chief Secretary, Mrs. Keshni Anand Arora had held a video conference with Deputy Commissioners and Superintendent of Police of all the five districts and directed them to maintain strict vigil and ensure full-proof arrangements for maintaining law and order and smooth conduct of the examination.
The District Administrations were directed to make fool-proof arrangements for safety and security of candidates, maintenance of law & order and smooth conduct of examination. The Administration shall ensure proper frisking of candidates before allowing entry into Examination Centre. CCTV Cameras shall be installed in each room with live streaming. HSSC shall ensure proper scanning of QR Code/, Facial Biometric Attendance, Videography and mobile Jammers.
It was further directed that in keeping in view the COVID-19 situation, all the exam centres will be thoroughly sanitised before the exam including classrooms, corridors, washrooms etc. To ensure social distancing, the number of candidates per room shall be reduced to half.
Candidates should not be allowed entry if they do not have face mask. HSSC shall ensure thermal screening at entrance and proper hand sanitisation at entry points and in classrooms.
Any candidate with flu like symptoms will be made to sit separately. A medical team/Rapid response team has to be deployed in all districts by District Administration to deal with any case of medical emergency. All candidates should book their online tickets in advance for availing bus facility of Haryana Roadways and sufficient buses will be made available accordingly.
The candidates shall bring admit card, ID proof and two coloured passport size photographs and shall not carry any mobile phone, any type of watch, belt, ornaments like ring, chain, earring etc., electronic or communication device, Pen, Pencil, Eraser, Sharpner and correcting Fluid inside the examination centre.
The Chief Secretary has appealed to the PTIs who were terminated due to court orders to participate in the examination process.
Justice Eludes PTI Teachers
In Haryana 1983 PTI (Physical Training Instructor), who had been working as permanent teachers for the last 10 -12 years, were removed from the job on 1 June 2020 after the Supreme Court termed the selection process as faulty. The credibility of constitutional bodies like the selection commissions has once again raised serious questions.
But the million-dollar question in this whole issue is the manner in which the misuse of political power taking place with impunity and the price for their misgivings is being paid by the innocent candidates who were not convicted by the court by the honourable court.
The precarious situation thrown before sacked PTIs has made them to go on indefinite sit-ins in all districts of Haryana.
The average age of these removed teachers is 45 to 50 years. Apparently affected teachers have responsibilities of their children and livelihood before them to look after.
Naturally, the overage teachers have now become ineligible to apply and fit in any other job to get their lives going. Among the lot many had been well-known players of their time. During their job tenure, they helped the budding sportspersons to hone their skills in their respective schools.
In the ‘Khelo-India’ event of 2018, Haryana clinched overall trophy in the age group below 17 years on the strength of the sportspersons chiseled by these sacked PTI teachers. Importantly, in these games, the players brought glory to the state by bagging 102 medals including 30 gold, 26 silver and 38 bronze medals.
For this only reason, they are now receiving overwhelming support from the different sections of the public.
Many prominent sports personalities have been writing letters to the Chief Minister with an appeal to reinstate the affected teachers who are on the verge of their retirement period. The family members of the 40 of the PTI teachers who had passed away during their job tenure were being able to make their both ends meet on the salaries provided on compassionate grounds.
Nearly 400 of these had been promoted on DPE posts. From the details of the matter, it appears that the honourable court was not apprised of the ground realities by the rulers on the throne pertaining to these 1983 PTI teachers as how dismal can ruin their careers, families and future. The matter seems to have been viewed by the government from the political prism only which is quite unfortunate.
Interestingly, the Haryana government showed extra agility in sacking around 2000 teachers from the different categories that it did not prefer to wait during the lockdown period for initiating the dismissal process as directed by the Supreme Court that it showed them the door on June 1 itself.
Serious eyebrows were raised for displaying overenthusiasm by the government in sacking the PTI teachers in implementing the apex court order which otherwise is known for acting passively in implementing judicial orders. This speaks volumes of the political tone the issue is picking up in the crisis situation.
The state of affairs of the unemployment in the state can be gauged from the glaring example witnessed in the recent past, in which 23 lakh youth applied for 18,000 D category jobs. Many of them were graduates-BA, post-graduates-MA and or science scholars-MSc.
Similarly for the 1983 posts of PTI teachers-20860 candidates had applied for these posts.
Haryana is not the lone state, the unemployment continued to spread in all the states that were dependent on farming-based economies.
At one point of time-65% of the population depended for employment on the farming sector which contributed 64% to the economy.
Today, when the contribution of agriculture to the economy is reduced to 16%, the same 65% of the population is still dependent for employment in the same sector.
Hence, the result is terrible unemployment.
Apart from the service sector, no agro-based small scale industries were developed which would cater to the need of increasing employment. This problem is even more serious, especially in newly created states with small economies.
For example, today the unemployment rate in Haryana is about 29% and higher than other neighboring states. Due to lack of proper employment opportunities and promised dignified life, a large number of youth are getting into the grip of drugs and crime. Nothing could be scarier than it.
To curb the deteriorating law and order situation and involvement of youth in drugs, the intervention of sports and sports teachers can be instrumental in preventing the further degradation of young energy going astray. For the present crisis, only our existing system and those who pull strings of power can be blamed for ruining it for their vested interests. Never have successive governments in the present and past ever formed a planning commission to discuss the way out of this quagmire by adopting a scientific approach.
Today, with 50% of the population being below 25 years of age, a nation called ‘Jawan Desh‘ has no work to give to its young hands.
The electorate who reposed faith in their leaders and installed them to the throne of power only received setbacks after the latter reneged from their poll-time promises. Never have they ever attempted to strike connection by fixing the public-interest issues with a serious approach.
No surprises, the former Chief Minister of Haryana and his son are serving jail sentences today on a serious issue like transparency in the recruitment process.
More skeletons may be tumbled out from the political fraternity, if a fair probe is conducted in the recruitment process during the tenures of other former Chief Ministers and even in present one holding the reins of the state for the last six years.
Almost all ex-CMs including the current CM and their favourite commission members may land behind bars for the rest of their lives.
Sample this; an FIR was lodged under serious allegations of corruption against the Chairman of the Higher Education Council in the present government. Even after the public made hue and cry for his removal from the post, the incumbent regime was caught protecting the culprit at every step.
On July 1, the Punjab Haryana High Court slapped a notice to the Haryana Government and the Haryana Staff Selection Commission regarding corruption in the selection of 1624 junior engineers.
In the last 30-35 years, the situation has become such that the government advertises a job, collects the money through form filling process, but fails to conduct examination in a professional manner.
At the same time, menace of paper leaks adds another dimension to the sad state of affairs.
If somehow the selection list comes up then it is challenged in the court.
It takes years of a painful journey to get hold on the joining letter.
These PTI posts themselves were advertised in 2006 and in 2010. For the 1983 posts some 20,870 applicants had turned up.
Even after serving a decade in the permanent job they were pushed a decade back with an unemployment tag in their hand. In absence of a transparent and fair recruitment process, the remaining lot of job aspirants are turning overage with every passing day.
Now, the sacked PTI teachers joined the sufferers list of the existing system and they are rightful in their hunger strike in all districts of the state.
Protesters allege that the Supreme Court mainly found the faulty selection process of the Service Selection Commission guilty but the question is why PTI teachers who invested golden 10 years of their lives made to bear the brunt of a flawed system with no fault in it.
Upon honestly analysing the state’s recruitment process, it becomes crystal clear that the selection commissions have reduced to a shop of political masters wherein functioning of these very ‘sacred’ commissions have attained anti-democratic character.
If the government needs to act with agility on anything it is transforming the functioning of these very commissions than kicking out the hard-working community of government employees who go the extra mile in contributing back to the society.
It is an open secret that merit is compromised to place their touts in the high-paying jobs into these commissions so that they can be exploited at the whims and fancies of their political masters.
If we scrutinize this very case in question, then it is evident that those holding chairs had no interest in making the system accountable and transparent but showed more interest in adjusting their own ‘people’ by tossing the norms in the air. The verdict given in this case in the backdrop of the ongoing system by the Supreme Court is beyond logic.
Wondering on the wisdom of the Honorable Court as one side it has held the service selection commission responsible for its action, which mocked the recruitment process and at the same time announced punishment to those who had no fault of theirs in it.
Admittedly, some of these candidates may have sneaked in using the ‘influence’ but most of them would have been admitted on their own merit as well.
The principle of justice is that even if two are left guilty, not a single innocent should be punished.
Keeping in mind all the aspects, the government should find a way to save the PTI jobs on humanitarian grounds, as well as immediately appoint other degree holder job aspirants on the vacant posts.
With the questionable reputation of the recruitment board in mind, there is an urgent need to make radical changes in the formation and functioning of recruitment commissions in the state. The selection process by the commissions has lost the confidence of people and how long the state would have to bear the consequences of someone’s vested interests.
In the face of terrible unemployment, it is high time to make these institutions very strong and fully fortified.
By taking immediate steps to make the process of recruitment commissions transparent and their functioning fair, logical and equitable, the lost credibility of these constitutional institutions will be restored.
Only then the youth can be saved from becoming a scapegoat again and again.