In a major outreach to the youth, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced in the state assembly today that 91,142 government jobs were being notified immediately. This would cost Rs 7,000 crore annually.
"After division of employees following bifurcation, 91,142 jobs are vacant. Today itself we will issue notifications for all of them. Before the statement, I need to clarify our earlier move to regularise 11,103 contract employees. They are ageing and waiting for too long. Now the court has given orders. So we are now going to regularise all of them. There are legislature jobs too. Different departments will issue notifications today itself including 20-30,000 in education department. We will see that no job stays vacant," KCR said.
Telangana will become the first state to have 95 per cent reservation for locals in government jobs, even senior positions under Group I services, as opposed to 60-80 per cent earlier, that too only for junior positions.
Jobs for locals, especially government jobs, was one of the major demands put forth during the Telangana struggle and was promised by KCR's party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS. In the last seven-and-a-half years, the KCR government has been sharply criticised by all Opposition parties, who have said the TRS had failed to deliver on that count.
Chief Minister KCR himself pointed out that 'neellu, nidhulu, niyamakalu' (water, funds and jobs) were the primary issues during the Telangana struggle and said by investing in major projects, the TRS government had ensured both water and power. That the state had one of the largest GSDP growth in the country, so funds were available. And on the issue of jobs, he explained why there had been some delay.
There have been instances where a youth threw himself before a VIP cavalcade and another has tried to immolate himself in front of the chief minister's office, demanding issue of job notifications.
Government jobs, even though they account only for 5 per cent of all employment, tends to be a very emotional subject.
The chief minister blamed complications raised during bifurcation of assets and employees, issues raised by the Andhra Pradesh government that caused obstacles and also Central government delays for the notifications coming earlier.
KCR said he and his ministers and officials had to make multiple trips to Delhi to make amendments in the Presidential order under Article 371D of the Constitution. "It was a historical victory to get 371D amended," he said.
Now with recruitment in seven zones and 33 district cadre, there will not be a problem of vacant posts or staff shortage in remote areas, the chief minister said.
The other significant announcement was that the upper age limit for direct recruitment for all the posts has been increased by 10 years.
The statement read out by the Chief Minister also said out of 1.56 lakh jobs identified when Telangana was formed, 1.33 lakh had been filled up.
While analysts saw the chief minister's announcement as having stolen the thunder from the criticism mounted on the 'non-performance of the TRS' by the Opposition parties, Congress leader K Rajagopal said KCR could not be trusted as he had made big promises in the past that he never fulfilled. "He said he would make a Dalit the chief minister. He did not do that. He promised land to landless, 2 BHK to the poor. He did not deliver. On this promise too, he won't deliver," he alleged.