Meghalaya is one of the states where most of the land belongs to the local communities, clans and individuals. On the other hand, government jobs are saturated, while the educated youth will not venture into production or manufacturing units. Under such constrains, Meghalaya cabinet has approved a proposal to provide government jobs to people who donate land for various developmental projects.
Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma clarified that his cabinet has approved the policy to ensure that ‘generous people’ who provide land to the government would be reciprocated with government jobs in Grade-III and Grade-IV posts. He made this statement on August 3, 2017. He also added that in the case of individual land owners, a member of their family would be absorbed in the government while in the case of community land, traditional institutions will select and recommend the names of people who deserve to be appointed.
Besides that the cabinet also approved a proposal of the state personnel department to increase the reservation in connection with the appointment of persons with disabilities in various government departments. It also approved the 2 per cent job reservation for sports persons who had represented the state and brought laurels by participating in various sporting events organised at regional and national levels.
All such proposals seem like a win-win situation for both the individual and the state government, however in the past such assurances were not honored leading to closure of a health centre. It may be reminded that Lad Mawreng Primary Health Centre comes into focus which the Health Department neglected for about two decades, forcing the landowner to withdraw the agreement to allow the PHC to function in her premises, only because the state government did not comply to the agreement for providing a job to the family member of the owner, also for not paying the house rent for years.
The point to ponder here is the demand for job for every set up for the people of locality; does it justify the reservation demand even for the specialist, technical and experienced post? Such condition has chased out many investors and visionaries including the indigenous tribals themselves from setting up any industry, institution and medical college(s) in the state.
The state government is now facing the problems of setting up Railway lines, expansion of Umroi Airport, setting up of the Information Technology Park and much other developmental work, all because of non-availability of land. This has also resulted in being one of the factors for Shillong losing out on bagging the Smart City award.
In the state of Meghalaya, meritorious students are unable to choose their preferred stream of studies and study these within the state. This has resulted in many of them giving up their dreams and aspirations by way of career. Those who can afford to go outside the state but then again many are unsuccessful in securing admissions outside the state due to low percentage secured during their board examination.
Next comes the increasing number of the unemployed in Meghalaya, where even the candidates who cleared the examination of staff selection are not getting appointment letters due to non availability of any vacancy.
It is time for all to accept that the single track focus for government job is one of the biggest issues. The qualified youth refuse to seek an alternative means of employment, knowing well that all jobs are ‘reserved’. Besides this, relaxation of age too has provided them an opportunity to wait longer. However, this has created the ‘artificial unemployment’ as this section of qualified manpower is simply wasted once they become overage.
The favouritism, political backing and misusing of power in recruiting the personnel in any of the government posts is one of the main drawbacks of the state and is one of the main reasons for the poor performances of the state government. Such appointee takes their post as their individual birthrights; worst of all, after completing a few years of service, even promotions are considered as part of the package, while the contributions of other meritorious officials have to go unnoticed.
The reservation policy and quotas have been misunderstood as simple assurance of everything. It is time to wake up and accept the truth that it is not a blanket reservation right from school admission to government job. Every individual needs to compete for the seat. It is time for the indigenous tribals to value such provision of Constitutional Rights and allow the meritorious candidates to occupy the available seats. It is not the birthright of a person to fight for a post even when they are not in any way qualified for the same.
Now with the proposal for donate land and get a government job, there are many land owners who are seeking the government job will now have a short cut to be a government employee. It will be worthwhile to witness how the government organs will function with the entry of such machineries who book themselves a job in exchange of land.