Lucknow: At a time when millions of people are losing jobs all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yogi Adityanath led-Uttar Pradesh government is mulling over a proposal that will bring about major changes for Group B and Group C state government employees.
According to the proposal, the employees will initially be recruited on contract basis for five years. These employees would not be entitled to allowances and other benefits like the permanent employees and their wages would be fixed by the government.
Once the contract period is over, a rigorous appraisal of their performance will be reportedly carried out and only those who meet the minimum performance standards will be retained and their services regularised. The rest will be terminated.
No allowances and other social security and labour benefits will be given to the employees during their five-year tenure. The Department of Personnel has initiated the consultation process with other stakeholders and the proposal is likely to be placed before the cabinet soon.
“The employees will be subject to scrutiny even during the five-year contract period and will have to score at least 60% in different tests. If they pass the tests which will be conducted in all five years with first division, they will be considered for a permanent job,” a state government employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told NewsClick.
The six-monthly assessment of the employees would be done by a committee at the department level. The assessment will be made on a measurable key performance indicator (MKPI), which will include attendance and timely performance of work, discipline, patriotism and morality. The reports of the employees will be assessed every six months and even if an employee is not found to be up to the mark after a year, they will be shown the door.
Official sources, however, said the proposal is in the initial stages and the government had asked all departments to give their opinion on the new policy. Opposition parties and trade unions have indicated that they would oppose the proposal.
Sources, however, indicated that the government had already prepared a proposal and it could be placed before the state cabinet.
An ordinance is said to be the preferred way to bring about the change. Officers selected through the PCS (executive), PPS and PCS (Judicial) exams would not be covered by the new recruitment policy.
Dependents of deceased state employees, who are appointed on compassionate grounds, will also have to pass such tests and they will be employed on a contractual basis as well.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University, Roop Rekha Verma, opposed the move. “It is very bad step by the state government at a very wrong time. Instead of creating jobs for the youth when they need it the most, the government is trying to slash jobs, and it will create fear psychosis among employees who have secure jobs,” Verma told NewsClick, adding that there would then be no difference between a government and a contractor.
“It comes at a time when people are living on the edge due to COVID-19 and there is a peak in unemployment – there is no creation of jobs. I urge the state government to check the unemployment data and layoffs in every sector then take a decision,” she said.
Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay awardee and social activist, said: “It is totally unfair that employees will have to go through tests to be made permanent employees. The state government should have created more jobs for the youth instead of taking this step. This will create uncertainty. What will those who are not permanent after five years, do?" asked Pandey, adding that the BJP government, both at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh, is trying to crush the dreams of millions of youths.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi took to Twitter and said: “Youth are demanding jobs and the UP government comes up with a proposal for contractual jobs for five years. It is an effort to rub salt into the wounds of the youth...”
She added that the youth is being denied permanent jobs even in Gujarat. “We will not allow the government to take away the self-respect of the youth," she added.
There are about nine lakh Group B and Group C employees in the state at present.