With the pandemic still raging and urban unemployment soaring, the Indian youth are severely distressed about their future. For over a year, tribal youth in Rajasthan have been protesting every so often only to ensure a chance to compete for recruitment as a teacher in the state through the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers (REET).
On December 24 last year, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the conduct of the examination for teacher recruitment. Through the REET, the government has proposed to fill 31,000 vacancies, out of which 6,080 vacancies would be reserved for candidates coming under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) regions spanning over three districts--Banswara, Dungarpur, and Pratapgarh.
Following Gehlot, state Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra held a meeting in December 2019, which decided the exam will be held on August 2, 2020. But after almost eight months of the decision, the advertisement release, pattern and exam date for about 11 lakh aspirants in the state are still awaited.
Recently on September 19, Gehlot said that the competitive recruitment exams in the state, including REET, should be held as per calendar to prevent pendency in recruitment, according to a report in the Times of India.
“Due to complex service rules, the recruitments are sometimes delayed. In this case, the service rules should be amended,” the chief minister said.
Activists on the ground say that the delay in the examination is adversely affecting the tribal candidates for whom it is the only hope for a better life. The delay and the apathy on the part of the state administration to fulfill its promises have led to fresh protests in the state. For nearly 15 days, tribal youths have been staging protests atop Kakri-Dungri hills between Bichhiwada and Kherwada demanding recruitment for 1,167 vacant posts.
Raj Pal Mina, an adivasi activist involved in the protests, told NewsClick, “The Rajasthan government is disproportionately distributing seats. Out of the 12% reservation for us, we barely get 7-8%; the government notices are not being followed, the youth do not know anymore what will happen to them. For months at a stretch, we have been regularly protesting, sometimes outside the homes of ministers and now on the streets. The government, by its absolute will, is also letting the unreserved candidates take the reserved category seats.”
The minimum qualifications for recruitment were Senior Secondary with BSTC and having passed REET. After completion of the process, the state issued the cut-off list. In terms of the cut off list, all the candidates, who had applied as TSP (General), TSP (SC) and TSP (ST) (widow and divorcee), were selected and the cut-off for male and female TSP (ST) was indicated as 51.33% marks. As against 5,431 posts, for the TSP area advertised, the state issued a select list for only 4,264 posts, resulting in 1167 posts remaining unfilled.
The school lecturer exams were announced as the candidates had protested for over 20 days for holding the exam, which was scheduled to be held from January 3 to January 13. Candidates had previously stated that the condition, where it is mandatory to have the required degree before the exam date, is rendering lakhs of them ineligible for the exam. The exams were postponed twice earlier.
Speaking to NewsClick, tribal leader Chotubhai Vasava said, “The Gehlot government is going back on its promises again and again, and cutting down all representation for us. The youth does not have an avenue anymore.”
In his second budget speech, the CM announced that the government would create 53,181 jobs this year. However, urban joblessness is soaring in the state with the government appearing to be failing to live up to its promises.
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