Tihar jail guards: MBAs, engineers who also teach inmates, manage prison factory
Engineers as well as management, science and commerce graduates have joined as guards or warders in Tihar jail, the junior-most position for which the minimum qualification is a Class 12 pass certificate.
With new and better-paid jobs hard to come by, these “over-qualified” candidates applied to serve the country’s biggest prison for a salary between Rs 5,200 and Rs 20,200, which is equivalent of the pay for a matron, driver, and a junior clerk in the Delhi government.
In all, a group of 59 men and women were chosen recently from 45,000 applicants and barring 16, almost everyone is a graduate or a postgraduate. Even those 16 “less qualified” candidates have a diploma in computers.
Tihar officials decided to harness the highly qualified warders’ talents and skills — giving them additional responsibilities such as teaching prisoners or managing the prison factory that makes processed food, clothes and furniture.
A BTech graduate from a Haryana university, who also has a diploma in web design, was given charge of managing the IT department of jail number 3.
“I will help manage the software of the prison management system and the CCTV feed across the jail. I am ready to help in any capacity,” he said on Thursday.
The jail job rush points to India’s failure to create enough new jobs to absorb all the one million people who join the workforce every month.
A similar rush was noticed when 2.3 million people, including postgraduates and PhDs, responded to an advertisement seeking applications for 368 posts of peon in the Uttar Pradesh government secretariat last year.
Sources said this is the first time the jail has got warders with such high qualifications.
There are four MBAs, five with BTech degrees, four BEd graduates, and two BCAs among the ranks. Most of the rest are commerce, arts and science graduates.
The management graduates could help at the jail factory that has an annual turnover of around Rs 50 crore.
“They are very excited. They will be doing their primary job of a warder, but their educational qualification will be put to good use,” director general of prisons Sudhir Yadav said. “They are willing to help us.”
A new warder with a BEd degree, who didn’t wish to be named, suggested all should pitch in and help each other. “If I can educate even one prisoner and help them find their way in life, I will be proud of myself.”
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