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Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 

While MP govt is busy organising rozgar panchayats, those waiting for govt jobs have a few questions.

Updated
Education
7 min read
While the MP govt is busy organising <i>rozgar</i> panchayats across the state, those waiting for govt jobs have a few questions.
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Twenty-nine-year-old Aastha (name changed) is still in a state of shock as she recalls the day when the police arrested her, along with three other girls. Their crime? Raising demand for government job which was promised three years ago!

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Job Protest Turns Ugly in Bhopal

On 5 July, a group of youngsters had gathered in Bhopal’s Neelam Park. Their only demand was that the state government should announce an official date regarding the formal joining of candidates who had cleared the exam of Lekhapal in 2015. Lekhapal is an accounting officer at village level.

Out of 2,208 candidates who were declared successful, only 595 were invited to join formally, remaining were left in the lurch. Aastha has been waiting for over three years now.

An aspirant was carrying a bottle of petrol in a bid to threaten the state administration. The act was seen by the local police as an attempt to immolate oneself. Aastha, who faces charges of unlawful assembly and attempt to suicide among others, is now waiting for the next hearing on 20 July 2018.

We had issued a statement that in case a formal date of joining isn’t announced, we will immolate ourselves. Our intention was to send a strong message to the state government. Yet, the police arrested the three of us.
Aastha
  • Candidates who had cleared the exam of lekhapal in 2015 held protest in Bhopal on 5 July 2018.
  • Candidates who had cleared the exam of lekhapal have been demanding that formal date of joining should be announced soon.
  • Around 6,000 candidates had cleared the exam of Sarvekshan Sahayak in 2014 but haven’t joined yet.

Aastha, who hails from Sagar district of MP, has been trying for a government job since 2014. She lost her father in 2009. Being the eldest among three siblings means that Aastha can’t leave the state as she wants to be around her family in Sagar.

After finishing her M Com from Hari Singh Gour University, Aastha began preparing for exams hoping to get a coveted government job that can help the family financially.

I have been working really hard for the last four years, yet, haven’t been able to make it anywhere else. I was hopeful about this job but now the state government is telling us they don’t have enough funds to formalise the lekhapals.
Aastha

Aastha was informed about the shortage of funds informally by the concerned officials. The state education department didn’t even have the decency to give a reason in writing.

Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
(Photo: The Quint)

Despite Clearing the Exam, Wait for the Job Continues

Among those who participated in the protests at Neelam Park was 27-year-old Levendra Gadge, an MBA pass out from Barkatullah University in Bhopal. Like Aastha, Gadge also feels cheated at the hands of state government which hasn’t announced a formal date for joining yet.

We had given the exam in April 2015 and the results were announced in July same year. Since then, we have organised more than a dozen protests but haven’t received any assurance from the state government till date.
Levendra Gadge 
Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
Screenshot of result declared by MP education department showing that Levendra Gadge has ‘qualified’ the exam.
Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
(Photo: The Quint)

The allotment list issued by the state education department in 2016 had declared names of 706 candidates who were invited for counselling. However, a circular dated 21 June 2017 stated that since the department was availing the services of 158 lekhapals who were hired on contract, the number of vacancies that will be filled based on test was reduced to 595.

Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
Screenshot of the allotment list issued by the state education department in 2016 inviting 706 candidates for counselling.
I have done PGDCA (Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application) and am familiar with Tally (software) as well. If I go looking for a job in private sector, all I’m offered is monthly salary of Rs 8,000, therefore, I have been trying for a government job since 2016.
Levendra Gadge
Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
Screenshot of the circular by state education department informing that 158 vacancies will be filled by those who were hired earlier on contractual basis.
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Similar is the plight of Ramratan Lohia who had appeared for the entrance exam of Sarvekshan Sahayak (Survey Assistant) in December 2014. MP government had announced 6,603 vacancies in 2014, those who had cleared the exam were asked to attend a training program in 2015. However, none of those candidates have joined as Sarvekshan Sahayak till date.

Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
(Photo: The Quint)
I was called for training at the district office in Bhopal in February 2015. Then, we were told to survey a gram panchayat and submit our findings in February 2016. We neither received any remuneration for the work done nor has there been any communication regarding formal joining.
Ramratan Lohia 

The Quint has sent a mail to the state education department seeking their response on the delay in formal joining. We will update the story as and when we receive it.

Bank Denying Loans Under Self-Employment Scheme

Even the attempts of those who are trying to start a business of their own are not bearing any fruit.

Amardeep Salunkhe who owns a tent business in Bhopal had approached three banks for loan under the Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana.

The scheme states that Rs 10 lakh loan can be given, that too without a guarantor, for starting a business. The banks, however, insist on producing a guarantor for assurance. 

Salunkhe has been denied loan by Corporation Bank, Central Bank and Syndicate Bank. He had applied for a loan of Rs 5 lakh for starting catering business.

I was willing to submit future work order as well to assure the bank, yet they rejected my application after six months.
Amardeep Salunkhe, Applicant (Mukhyamantri Swarojgar Yojana)
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‘Atithi Vidwan’ Fear Job Loss

Thirty-seven-year-old Manju Vyas has been teaching at a college in Dewas for the last fifteen years as an ‘Atithi Vidwan (Guest Scholar). There are around 4,200 Atithi Vidwans in MP who get Rs 200 per lecture. Manju received the shock of her life when MPPSC announced in March this year that it will conduct exam for the position of assistant professors. “Instead of regularising us and appreciating our service of fifteen years, the state government has decided to get rid of us,” says Manju.

After 25 years, MPPSC (Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission) has decided to fill vacancies of assistant professors thus jeopardising the future of those who are already serving the state on part-time basis.

Promise of One Lakh Jobs

Even as thousands have waited for years for government jobs that they have qualified, the MP government continues to make even taller claims about employment.

On 1 April 2018, the Hindu Businessline quoted a government press release stating that 89,000 people will be employed by the government in next few months.

These 89,000 vacancies were spread across various departments such as revenue, health, education, police, etc. There was no mention of time-frame regarding these vacancies.

Then, the Indian Express reported on 2 April 2018 that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that “youths will be recruited for one lakh government posts”.

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Then came another grand promise. On 4 June, the Hindustan Times reported that the MP government will ‘provide jobs to one lakh youth’ by organising Rozgar Panchayat in 51 districts.

Under the ‘Rozgar Panchayat’ initiative, the government is organising job fairs with private companies participating as potential employers.

We are organising job fairs at the district-level. We are close to our target, it won’t be possible for me to disclose the exact figures. We would be giving offer letters to one lakh job seekers in 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Hemant Vijayrao Deshmukh, Chairman, Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development and Employment Generation Board

Activists like Akshay Hunka, who runs a group called ‘Berozgar Sena’, are not convinced.

I completed my M Phil in 2000, since then there have been reports about an IT park in Bhopal with TCS and Infosys as potential recruiters. Why should we believe this latest promise?
Akshay Hunka, Founder, Berozgar Sena

Does the Opposition have a Plan?

With the government caught on the backfoot, the Congress is raking up the issue of unemployment in election-bound states. NSUI, the student wing of Congress, has launched ‘Rozgar ki khoj’ initiative in Madhya Pradesh, under which job applications from 230 constituencies will be submitted to the state government by July end.

“The idea is to collect around 2 lakh such forms from 1,000 individuals at the constituency-level to highlight the problem of unemployment,” says NSUI In-charge and AICC joint secretary, Ruchi Gupta.

Promise of 1 Lakh Jobs: Why Shivraj’s Plan Isn’t Convincing 
NSUI’s ‘Rozgar ki khoj’ initiative aims to submit around 2 lakh job applications to MP government by July end.

While the form asks questions related to status of employment and whether an individual is getting the unemployment allowance, there doesn’t seem to be a plan that can generate jobs. Perhaps therein lies the problem – lack of imagination – on part of the political class.

For young and talented individuals like Aastha and Levendra, their career hangs in the balance due to the failure of the State to fulfil its promise on the front of jobs.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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