Women aspiring for top jobs in state services are miffed that the posts meant for them under the 30% quota have been given away to male candidates despite a Supreme Court directive that they be kept vacant till eligible candidates become available.
The Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) gave away 75 coveted jobs of gazette officers, including deputy collectors, deputy superintendents of police and assistant commissioners of sales tax, to male candidates because not enough women candidates passed this year’s state public service exam.
The move has upset women candidates and politicians, who have accused the MPSC of violating the apex court’s directive.
MPSC chairman Sudhir Thakre, however, dismissed the allegation. He told HT that the state policy does not allow the commission to keep seats vacant. “Unlike social (caste-based) reservations, the quota for women in state jobs is not a constitutional provision. Our state created this quota as a mark of Maharashtra’s progressive approach. We had to give jobs to successful male candidates only because we did not have enough successful women.”
Thakre said the MPSC is not against women. “We want more women to get top jobs and encourage them to crack the examinations. Only about 10% jobs have been going to women in state and central services. We need to improve on this,” he said, adding that the SC directive is applicable only for constitutional quota provisions.
Thakre’s argument has failed to convince women candidates. “MPSC violated the Supreme Court directive and we will petition the state government,” said a candidate, who aspired to become a deputy collector.
Shiv Sena legislator Nilam Gorhe told HT that she was aware of alleged discrimination and was collecting data to counter the MPSC and the government.
Gorhe said similar discrimination in police jobs was corrected few years ago. “We need to study the MPSC policy and ensure equal opportunity for women in top services.”