BJP says Soren govt’s new employment policy discriminatory; JMM calls decision historic

Updated on Aug 06, 2021 10:15 PM IST

The development comes a day after the Hemant Soren cabinet on Thursday cleared proposals amending the employment eligibility and syllabus for the examinations conducted by the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC) for grade III and IV government jobs

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren (HT FIle)
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren (HT FIle)
By, Ranchi

In another round of controversy surrounding the employment policy in Jharkhand, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday accused the Hemant Soren government of coming up with a “discriminatory policy” in terms of language and region, saying it was detrimental for Hindi speaking population and those belonging to the unreserved category in the state.

The development comes a day after the Hemant Soren cabinet on Thursday cleared proposals amending the employment eligibility and syllabus for the examinations conducted by the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC) for grade III and IV government jobs.

The new policy replaced the two-stage examination conducted by the JSSC with a single-stage competition. It also made it mandatory that anyone who does not belong to the reserved categories notified in the state must have passed Class 10 and 12 from any Jharkhand school to apply for a job offered by the JSSC.

While the exact syllabus for the new exam pattern was yet to be published by the commission, the new examination pattern made it mandatory to clear a language paper from a given list of 12 regional languages, including tribal languages. Hindi and English exams will be the qualifying papers and the marks obtained in opted regional language exam will be added to the merit list.

Addressing reporters at the party headquarters here Friday, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said that the new policy approved by the state government was discriminatory against the official language Hindi, besides being an attempt to appease the minority community. The party would take all measures, political as well as legal, to ensure that the new policy is not implemented.

“Earlier, subjects like Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu were also in the list of main language papers. But the new policy has kept Urdu but dropped Hindi and Sanskrit out of it. By the new policy, the government is discriminating against people living in certain regions of the state,” said Shahdeo.

“In districts like Palamu and Garhwa, many people speak Bhojpuri. Similarly, a majority of people in the Godda and Sahebganj districts speak Angika. While these languages have not been listed in the regional language, Hindi could have been a common link. But residents of these districts would not be able to appear for these posts,” he added.

On the new rule of passing out Class 10 and 12 from a school in the state, Shahdeo said that it discriminates against the general category students who are Moolvasis (original inhabitants) of Jharkhand.

However, the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) denied the charges saying the new policy was in the interest of the locals, including the tribals, Dalit, backward classes and the Moolvasis of the state.

“There should be no confusion on this. Everyone whose umbilical cord is attached to the state would benefit from this policy, which is historic. Till now, there were too many loopholes in the employment policy that were used by people to challenge it in court. On the language front, instead of appeasement, we are assimilating all sections of society. Urdu was declared the second state language by the previous BJP government. As far as regional language is concerned, its importance lies in the fact that they act as a catalyst in governance as common people who interact with grade 3 and 4 category employees can express their problems properly in their mother tongue,” said JMM principal general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.

Domicile and employment policy in Jharkhand has been a controversial issue and a hot potato for all political parties ever since this tribal-dominated state was carved out of Bihar in 2000. Bringing an end to the uncertainties over the issue, the previous BJP government led by Raghubar Das had fixed 1985 as the base year for deciding on the domicile of any citizen in the state.

The issue continued to be a controversy and became a major talking point in the 2019 Assembly election when the BJP lost power, with other political parties, especially the JMM and the Congress, taking a contrary stand and promising to change it. However, the JMM-Congress-RJD combined government was yet to come up with a new proposal on the issue.

The employment policy notified by the Raghubar Das government also turned into a controversy as the high court had struck down its policy to reserve jobs offered by the JSSC in 11 scheduled districts -- as per Schedule V of the Constitution -- only for the locals from those respective districts.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vishal Kant works as an Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He tracks developments in Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi government. Vishal has spent about a decade covering the city politics and governance, besides writing on Delhi’s civic issues, urban transport and infrastructure.

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