In Punjab language dept, staff crunch speaks volumes
The last recruitment was carried out in 1996, and since then, it’s been 21 years that vacancies kept cropping up upon retirements, but have not been filled in the department that came into existence on January 1, 1948.punjab Updated: Oct 23, 2017 21:06 IST
Even as social organisations and political parties make hue and cry over Punjabi not getting priority on signboards along national highways in Punjab, the state’s languages department tells a story of neglect at home. With its primary aim being promotion of Punjabi, the department is working with hardly 20% staff strength.
The last recruitment was carried out in 1996, and since then, it’s been 21 years that vacancies kept cropping up upon retirements, but have not been filled in the department that came into existence on January 1, 1948.
Against 60 sanctioned posts, only four research assistants are employed, while three of six posts of deputy director are vacant. Against 40 posts of assistant director-cum-district language officer, 15 have incumbents. As for language research officers, the department has 16 against 40 posts. All 18 posts of language instructors are vacant for years. Of the two posts of joint director, one is vacant; and the post of additional director remains unoccupied too.
Department director Gursharan Kaur said the state government has already been informed “in writing” about the shortage of staff. “We are managing day-to-day affairs with stopgap arrangements, as we cannot bring activities to a standstill.”
The department’s mandate is to organise book exhibitions, seminars, literary contests, award prizes to books and other literature; to bring out monthly journals in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English; to translate rules, forms and other government material and classical literary works of all important languages of the world into Punjabi; to conduct examinations in Punjabi to enable employees to qualify themselves in Punjabi; and to popularise Punjabi in offices. It also aims to impart training in Punjabi shorthand and typewriting, and to celebrate birth and death anniversaries of the reputed poets and writers at the district level, besides undertaking linguistic surveys.
The department also aims at development and promotion of Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu, but not a single person has been deployed for Hindi and Sanskrit sections, while one person is looking after the Urdu section.
A senior official who did not want to be named said, “The matter was formally taken up in 2009, and it was assured that the top posts would be filled through Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) while clerks would be recruited through other government agencies.”