Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC), responsible for recruiting Class-1 and Class-2 level officers, is currently under the spotlight for its sluggish recruitment process. Despite the government's recommendations to fill vacant positions, the Commission has only managed to recruit a mere 31% of the recommended candidates. This situation has left thousands of aspiring youth in Haryana waiting anxiously for the opportunity to pursue their dreams of becoming officers.
Government's Promises and the Reality
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently raised expectations by promising employment opportunities for the youth. However, the slow pace of officer recruitment raises questions about the HPSC's effectiveness in fulfilling this commitment. Since 2017-18, HPSC has recruited only 4,376 officers, while the government recommended filling 13,990 positions during the same period.
Astonishingly, the government has allocated a substantial sum of Rs 155 crore from the treasury to the Commission over the past five and a half years, further emphasizing the need for efficient recruitment.
Currently, both the Class-1 and Class-2 categories of positions in Haryana have approximately 32% vacancies, out of a total of 68,714 approved posts. Shockingly, 21,951 positions in these categories remain vacant, illustrating the magnitude of the recruitment crisis in the state.
One of the major hurdles faced by HPSC's recruitment process is the frequent alteration of rules after the publication of job advertisements. This uncertainty has caused significant confusion among candidates, and in some cases, the rules have changed even after examinations have taken place. Such instability has eroded the confidence of aspiring officers.
Objections to Answer Keys Disregarded
Another issue plaguing the recruitment process is the lack of transparency in HPSC's rules and the inadequate consideration of objections raised against answer keys. Candidates who believe that their objections are valid often find themselves compelled to seek legal recourse, further delaying the recruitment process.
High Cutoffs Leading to Few Selections
HPSC has also faced criticism for setting excessively high cutoff marks, sometimes as high as 50%, which has resulted in the exclusion of many eligible candidates. For instance, in a recruitment drive for approximately 600 Agricultural Development Officer (ADO) positions, only about 50 candidates managed to meet the high cutoff criteria.
Expenditure on HPSC
In the last five and a half years, HPSC's expenditures have been substantial, despite the relatively low number of recruitments. The following table outlines the recruitment numbers and the corresponding expenditures:
These figures reveal significant expenses incurred by the government for recruitment activities, further underscoring the need for a more efficient and effective process.
Legal Experts' Advice
Some senior legal experts have suggested that following proper rules and procedures and addressing objections promptly can prevent recruitment-related legal challenges. Ensuring that recruitment advertisements are released only after terms and conditions have been thoroughly established would provide clarity to aspiring candidates and minimize confusion. Additionally, addressing objections to answer keys in a transparent and fair manner would help avoid protracted legal disputes.
The Way Forward
HPSC's recruitment challenges are rooted in the need for greater transparency, consistency, and adherence to established rules and procedures. By addressing these issues, HPSC can expedite the recruitment process and fulfil its crucial role in providing employment opportunities for the youth of Haryana.
The government has shown its commitment to resolving these issues by processing the recommendations it has made regarding recruitment. Notably, approximately 4,500 posts are designated for Post Graduate Teachers (PGT), and the recruitment process is currently underway. As Satish Kumar, Deputy Secretary of HPHC, suggests, if the government and HPSC work in unison to follow proper procedures and handle objections promptly, the recruitment process can proceed smoothly, without the need for protracted legal battles.
While HPSC's recruitment challenges are significant, there is hope that they can be overcome through greater transparency, consistency, and adherence to established procedures. By addressing these issues, HPSC can fulfil its vital role in providing employment opportunities for the eager and deserving youth of Haryana.