The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) isn’t only looking at the qualification and skills of job applicants. It also wants to know how many children they have.
Any candidate with more than two children will immediately be disqualified for the position of a driver or conductor. And those who already have two kids will be given a job only if they sign a declaration stating that they will not have any more children.
These are the conditions that have been stated in a recent advertisement for recruitment by the transport body. As per the state government’s directives, the agency has set a two-child cap for all candidates.
According to MSRTC officials, the condition was included keeping in mind the Maharashtra Civil Services (Small Family) Rule, 2005.
The MSRTC is the second largest state transport undertaking in the county, with a fleet of around 17,000 buses. Having around 1 lakh employees, the MSRTC has started the recruitment process to fill 19,789 posts, which includes 8,948 drivers, 6,247 conductors, 2,658 assistants and 1,936 clerks. The age limit is between 24 and 35 years and is relaxed for socially backward candidates.
Officials said this was one of the largest recruitment drives carried out by the MSRTC in the past few decades.
“We have put the condition as per the state government’s directive,” said a senior MSRTC official, on condition of anonymity.
The official said if it was found that a candidate got a job by not disclosing the information or intentionally given wrong details, it would result in immediate dismissal.
Two years ago, the MSRTC had recruited more than 10,000 employees at various posts. However, at the time the two-child criterion was not mentioned.
The recent advertisement, however, specifies that this condition would be applicable in case of people having children after March 28, 2006.
Unions have expressed surprise over the move. “I don’t remember the MSRTC ever asking for details about children or enforcing this directive,” said Shivajirao Chavan, leader of Maharashtra Rajya State transport Kamgar Sanghatana.