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MLAs want local quota in jobs, admission in central institutes

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 23: MLAs from both ruling and opposition parties on Friday urged the state government to engage with various central government institutions and establishments to make sure that preference is given to the youth from the state in job reservations as well as admissions in higher education.
Moving a short duration discussion in the Assembly on the government’s failure to protect the rights of the indigenous people in central institutions, VPP legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said over 46 central institutes, including NEIGRIHMS, NEHU, Central Excise, CBI, CPWD, NEEPCO, BSNL, NEPA, ICAR, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Power Grid Corporation of India, have their presence in Meghalaya.
He said they understand that local tribals are underrepresented in these central institutions and establishments.
He mentioned that there is a standing instruction from the Government of India under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pension and Department of Personnel Training and Establishment regarding reservation in appointments which is outlined in the compendium on instructions in posts and services in central government. The VPP legislator said reservation is provided to the members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Background Classes at 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in matters of appointment to direct recruitment to civil posts and civil services on all India basis by open competitions.
He said the notification made specific mention about reservation and direct recruitment in Group C and Group D posts.
“As per this instruction, Meghalaya can avail upto 45 per cent in direct recruitment under Groups C and D. When I look at this notification of the government, I feel it would have been a blessing for our youth if they could benefit from the presence of the many central establishments and institutions in the state,” Basaiawmoit said.
Citing an example in the case of NEHU, he said they are aware that all the other states in the Northeast have their own central university. He said the problem in Meghalaya is that other tribals from other states still manage to get 7.5 per cent reservation here.
“The same is not practiced in the other northeastern states. For appointment in the post of Assistant Professor in Mizoram University, only Mizos are getting a chance to be appointed. But recently in Meghalaya, a local teacher was denied a job in NEHU although other tribals from other states managed to get appointment,” Basaiawmoit said.
He asked the government to take some proactive measures in this regard.
“In the case of NEIGRIHMS, I was told the administration there is too biased and they even violate the laid down rules. It is supposed that the institution will not have more than 20 per cent male nurses but I was told it accommodated more than 20 per cent male nurses,” the MLA said.
Stating that these male nurses are from outside Meghalaya, Basaiawmoit said this is a very serious issue. He said if the government takes up the matter seriously, it will be a blessing for the state’s unemployed youth.
Citing another example about allocation of MBBS seats in RIMS, Imphal, he said 24 per cent of the seats there are allocated to students from Manipur. It is 26 per cent for BDS and upto 32 per cent for BSC nursing students, he said.
He said the Meghalaya government can start writing a letter to each and every central institution and establishment, inquiring about the strength of local tribals there.
Admitting that it is not easy for the government to create government jobs these days, he said he understands that government jobs have become saturated.
“So why should we miss this opportunity when all these central establishments and institutes were allocated acres and hectares of land by the state government? It is the duty of the state government to ensure that they give benefit to our people,” Basaiawmoit said.
Participating in the discussion, UDP legislator Lahkmen Rymbui said 38 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS), which are coming up in the state, will have around 52 posts in each of them, totalling around 2, 000 posts.
He said Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma is trying to make sure the reservation policy is applied to these central institutions.
Stating that the 38 EMRS will be established on around 600 acres of land, he said they have come to an understanding with the National Education Society for Tribal Students that the locals will be accommodated in the lower posts in these institutions.
“I request the state government to not allow these institutions to start functioning without applying the reservation policy. Let’s not rush to start these institutions until the issue of employment is resolved,” Rymbui categorically stated.
UDP legislator Balajied Kupar Synrem appealed to the CM to convene a meeting with the central institutions and establishments to find out how many of the local youth have benefitted from the 44 per cent reservation.
Leader of Opposition RV Lyngdoh urged the government to keep a watch to ensure that the central institutions and establishments adhere to the 44 per cent reservation in letter and spirit.
He said the government should also make sure that admission to various PG courses in NEHU is given to local students since it is difficult for them to get admission elsewhere.
“If the CM can monitor and make the central institutions and establishments adhere to the notification issued by the ministry, it will go a long in providing employment to our youth,” Lyngdoh added.

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