Shillong, Sept 26: The Opposition asked the MDA government to pursue with the NDA government at the Centre to restore the original appointment rules of the Regional Rural Bank to ensure that proficiency in local language should remain as essential pre-qualification so that locals get employment in Meghalaya Rural Bank.
The issue which was brought for discussion in the Assembly has also led to exchange of words between Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K. Sangma and leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma .
The plea from the Opposition came through a resolution brought by Ampati MLA, Miani D. Shira in Assembly. Shira highlighted the employment opportunities for educated unemployed local youth in the Meghalaya Rural Bank especially those who have the proficiency in local language.
She however said that due to the replacement of the existing appointment rules, 2010 by the appointment rules, 2017, the opportunities have been taken away as people from outside can get employment even without having the proficiency in local language.
In the appointment rules, 2017, the clause related to proficiency in local language states that a candidate not having proficiency in local language at the time of selection, will be given a time of six months from the date of joining to acquire the proficiency. The rules also said, “the period of six months may be extended by the board for a further period of six months, which may be extended for a further period of six months at a time.”
Shira said that as a result of this, only two locals were appointed out of 27 posts of officer Scale-1 in the Meghalaya Rural Bank and questioned as to why the recent recruitment was conducted in Guwahati instead of Shillong as it was done in the past.
Shira said that the original intention of creating the Regional Rural Bank has been defeated while stating that this is opening up flood gates for appointment of those who are not proficient in the local language.
Stating that the amendment of the particular clause by the Union ministry of finance, has diluted the original content and intent of the Regional Rural Bank Act, Shira said that this would also inconvenience the rural poor, who are not proficient in languages other than the local language apart from depriving employment opportunities to the local job seekers.
Shira urged members of the House to support and adopt the resolution.
“If the state government feels that it is not appropriate to adopt the resolution brought by the Opposition, the resolution should be tabled by the government to urge the Centre to restore the original appointment rules in connection with the proficiency in local language,” she suggested.
Leader of opposition, Mukul Sangma alleged that the change in the clause related to proficiency in local language was done by the Centre to take away jobs from the local youth.
“Shall we allow the government of India to do this robbing job from our youth? This is an anti-tribal and anti-indigenous attitude of the Centre and we should stand united across party lines against this move,” Mukul said.
But in his reply, a visibly agitated chief minister, Conrad K. Sangma alleged that the previous government led by Mukul Sangma did not do anything on this despite the appointment rules was changed in March 2017, which led to a heated argument with the leader of Opposition.
Mukul said that the issue was taken up earlier but as the Centre did not respond even after waiting for few months, the issue has to be raised again to put pressure on the govenrment.
However Conrad said that his government had taken up this matter with the Centre, and a letter was also sent by the chief secretary on April 4, this year.
Later, Shira withdrew the resolution with a condition that the state government should bring a resolution to urge the Centre to restore the original appointment rules.
The chief minister who did not assure to bring a resolution said, “We will take this up again with the Centre.”