10 lakh jobs: Existing govt vacancies to account for most, 90% at lowest levels – The Indian Express

The Union government will need to budget about Rs 4,500 crore a month for the 10 lakh jobs it has promised in mission mode over the next 18 months. Annually, it will cost the exchequer about Rs 54,000 crore.
Almost entirely, these are existing vacancies or posts remaining unfilled over the past few due a generally slow and complex recruitment process, court interventions, and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic.
A government source said, 90 per cent or more of these unfilled jobs or vacancies are in the Group C category comprising clerks, peons, and semi-skilled workers. The cost to the government for a fresh Group C employee is roughly Rs 40,000 a month.
Sources in the government said while it is not easy to undertake such large-scale recruitment in a short span of 18 months, the bigger challenge will be post-recruitment training and induction, and later promotions. “Such one-shot recruitment will mean all these employees will be eligible for promotion together,” said a source.
An analysis of official government data shows there were 8.72 lakh vacant posts across 77 ministries/ departments as on March 1, 2020. Of this, just five ministries or departments– Defence (Civil), Railways, Home Affairs, Posts and Revenue – accounted for 90 per cent.
The data shared by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, to the Lok Sabha on March 30, 2020, shows that 31.32 lakh regular government employees were in position across 77 ministries/ departments against the sanctioned strength of 40.04 lakh employees as on March 1, 2020.
Among the 77 ministries/departments, the highest number of vacant posts—2.47 lakh is in Defence (Civil), followed by Railways (2.37 lakh), Home Affairs (1.28 lakh), Posts (90,050), and Revenue (76,327).
A group-wise analysis of the vacant posts shows that the maximum 7.56 lakh—or 86.69 per cent—of 8.72 lakh vacancies were in Group-C (non-gazetted). The employees in the Group C perform “supervisory as well as operative tasks and render clerical assistance in ministries and field organisations.” After the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations, the erstwhile Group D posts, meant for carrying out routine duties, have been merged with the Group C.
The data shows that Maximum of Group C (non-gazetted) posts were vacant in Railways
The data shows that 78,045 posts were vacant in Group-B (non-gazetted) and 85 per cent of these were in five departments: Defence (Civil), Revenue, Home Affairs, Mines and Science and Technology.
The number of vacancies in Group A posts, which “carry higher administrative and executive responsibilities and include senior management positions in the ministries/departments and field organisations”, was reported at 21,255 as on March 1, 2020. The maximum number of Group A vacant posts were in Revenue (3,973 posts), followed by Home Affairs (3,890), Defence (Civil) (3,480), Mines (1,611) and Railways (1,069).
The announcement came at a time when the unemployment rate for youths (aged 15-29 years) in urban areas has been hovering at over 20 per cent for the last several quarters, and Covid-19 induced economic distress has hurt millions of workers across the country.
While the number of vacancies has grown in the last few years, the recruitment has not gained pace. As per the information shared by Minister Jitendra Singh, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) advertised 1,85,734 and 27,764 posts, respectively and recruited 1,74,744 and 24,836 candidates, respectively in the five years between 2017-18 and 2021-22.
Correction: In an earlier version of this report, the total cost to the government in employing 10 lakh people was erroneously mentioned as Rs 4,500 crore a year. It should be Rs 4,500 crore a month, or Rs 54,000 crore a year. The error is regretted.
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Harikishan SharmaHarikishan is a Senior Assistant Editor, and he writes on agriculture,… read more


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