25 September 2023

INDIA: Recruitment policy questioned

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Members of the Indian Dalit community say the Government’s decision not to reserve places for them in the recruitment of outsiders into the Public Service is legally untenable.

The Dalits (once known as “Untouchables”) are among several objectors to the policy from both within and outside the Public Service.

It has been introduced in an attempt to bridge a perceived knowledge gap in the handling of crucial Departments.

Of the nine outside entrants inducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), so far none belongs to any of the reserved categories — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, or Other Backward Classes.

A senior Dalit Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who did not wish to be named, said it was “alarming how the Government can just throw reservation into the bin”.

However, the Government insisted reservations did not apply as the outside experts were recruited for individual positions.

Sources in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the Government was also unlikely to extend the reservation quota to the 40 experts it was planning to hire as Directors and Deputy Secretaries in the second leg of the lateral entry exercise.

However, according to the DoPT’s own rules, Government appointments are exempt from reservation only if they are temporary, for a period less than 45 days.

Former Indian Revenue Service officer Udit Raj claimed there was no dearth of talent, experience and honesty among Dalits and the Government was simply looking at ways to set aside reservation.

New Delhi, 16 June 2019

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