Cabinet meet: 16 grade III, IV PHE staff regularised under agreement with Hima Mawphlang; CM blames Centre for poor implementation of GSWSS
SHILLONG: The State Cabinet on Friday approved the amendment to ensure prompt declaration of results of interviews conducted by the District Selection Committees (DSCs) besides giving a go ahead to the Draft Meghalaya Water Resources Engineering Services Rules, 2016. The Cabinet also decided to regularize the post of 16 grade III and IV employees of the PHE department to give effect to the Agreement signed by the Department of Public Health Engineering and Hima Mawphlang in 1978 for implementation of Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS).
Reacting to a query after the Cabinet meeting Chief Minister Mukul Sangma blamed the Centre for poor implementation of GSWSS.
In a decisive step aimed at achieving increased transparency, the State Cabinet on Thursday approved an amendment to ensure prompt declaration of results of interviews conducted by the DSCs.
The approved amendment deals with the composition and functioning besides the procedure for direct recruitment to various categories of posts which come under the purview of the DSCs. Addressing newsmen after the meeting here on Thursday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the Cabinet approved the proposal after taking note of the fact that there was a need for quick declaration of results of interviews conducted by the DSCs for filling up of the various vacancies.
Sangma categorically stated that the DSCs have been directed to accurately verify the number of vacancies before advertising them. This assumes significance considering the fact that many a selected candidate has not been recommended by the Committees in the past for want of vacancies leading to several protests.
The chief minister added that the DSCs would now have to make the recommendations immediately after the declaration of results.
Elaborating more on the matter, Sangma pointed out that there has been undue delay in the whole process of conducting recruitment by the DSCs and the declaration of results on many occasions, due to certain guidelines pertaining to the written exams.
The amendment seeks to do away with components like lengthy essays, précis writing etc., and replace them with objective type questions to fast track the evaluation process of papers in order to ensure that results are declared without delay.
According to Sangma, as per the amendment, candidates going through the recruitment process under the respective DSCs would have to attempt a total of 300 marks which would include 70 marks for General English in objective format, 130 for Aptitude, 30 for General Knowledge and another 30 marks for the interview.
He added that in certain cases where ad hoc appointments on an urgent basis are a must, prior approval of the government would have to be taken.
On pointing out that the members of DSC are mostly political appointees, Sangma asserted, “Who is not a political appointee…Our democracy comes at a price. The purpose and objective is to ensure check and balance in the true spirit of democracy.”
Regularization of posts
The State Cabinet also decided to regularize the post of 16 grade III and IV employees of the PHE department to give effect to the Agreement signed by the Department of Public Health Engineering and Hima Mawphlang in 1978 for implementation of Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS).
Speaking to media persons after the Cabinet meeting here on Thursday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the agreement was signed considering the fact that a huge area of land was acquired for the GSWSS without any compensation and taxes being paid and as per the understanding, local tribal people from the area were to be given jobs in the Government sector.
According to Sangma, the services of the employees were never regularized and after examining the matter, the Cabinet decided to go ahead with the process which was to benefit 17 employees hailing from the jurisdiction of Hima Mawphlang.
However, one of the employees had died in the year 2001 and hence services of 16 employees were regularized.
Reacting to a query about “several appointments being made under the GWSS project”, the Chief Minister said that such appointments, if any, will not come under the purview of regularization.
“The appointments which are being regularized are an offshoot of the agreement,” he clarified.
He further said that the Government has called for 20 per cent cut on the departmental expenditures and added that all project related expenditures will have to be justified from here on.
“There will be no more scope for departments to engage any employee on wages and beyond what is required,” Sangma asserted.
Mukul blames Centre
When asked about the poor implementation of the different phases of GSWSS, the chief minister said that the project is linked to JNNURM and likewise its guidelines came on the way of speedy implementation.
He pointed out that the State Government is engaging with the Centre on the matter.
Stating that he is not justifying the delay, Sangma, however, said that the Centre should not apply the same guidelines to the whole country since specific provisions came in the way for Meghalaya creating hurdles in the project.
“We have been deprived of what would have come to us,” Sangma said.
Draft Meghalaya Water Resources Engineering Services Rules
The Draft Meghalaya Water Resources Engineering Services Rules, 2016 was also approved.
Speaking to media persons after the Cabinet meeting here on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister in charge of Water Resources, Rowell Lyngdoh said that till now the department was following the rules of Agriculture department under Irrigation branch.
“Now the department has framed its own rules for promotion and recruitment in three stages – first, a senior officer in the rank of Superintending Engineer, second, the Executive Engineer and thirdly the SDOs,” he said.