Lucknow, May 21: Almost after a decade-long gap, Uttar Pradesh government has commenced the recruitment of upper castes in government jobs to fulfil the Bahujan Samaj Party government's promise of 'Sarva Samaj'. The state government has thrown open government jobs for general category candidates in those department where vacancies are over 25 per cent of the allotted posts.
The recruitment would not be in form of a special drive as is witnessed during the SC/ST recruitment. The heads of different departments have been asked to start recruitment of general candidates as per the need and the recruitment would be limited only of the Class III and Class IV category of vacancies.
''Instructions are specific that where government functioning is being hampered due to staff shortage, the departments can go ahead and start fresh recruitment,''a highly-placed source told UNI.
The recruitment would be based on written test followed by interview. As the recruitment would be need-based, the officials were advised to appoint people at local level.
Interestingly, there was a freeze in recruitment of upper castes in the government jobs as previous governments had adopted the policy to 'shed' manpower as per the instructions of the World Bank.
The freeze was, however, not applicable to the appointment of SCs and STs. The reserve seats were filled through backlog recruitments.
In December, 2007, the state cabinet lifted the freeze and paved the way for appointment of upper castes in the government jobs.
On February 28, this year, a Government Order(GO)in this regard was also issued.
A senior official in the state government said that the three months' delay in starting recruitment was due to bad experiences the previous governments had in appointment of clerical grade employees and also owing to the need to have a foolproof system for recruitment.
A large-scale recruitment drive was launched during previous Rajnath Singh tenure when the government had announced over 80,000 vacancies.
With the change in guard, the recruitment was caught in the legal wrangles. Similar was the case during the tenure of Mulayam Singh Yadav, when recruitment of around 22,000 police personnel was cancelled by Mayawati Government.
''Precautions are being taken to ensure transparent recruitment process to avoid controversy of any sort,'' the official said.
Moreover, he said, as the appointments would be made at the local level and its magnitude would be less, the chances of use of unfair means would be low as well.
The decision to start recruitment had a political overtone too.
With Parliamentary elections round the cornor, Chief Minister Mayawati wanted to lure upper caste by opening the doors of government jobs for them by chanting the mantra of 'sarv samaj'.
And what best gift she could offer to upper caste than giving them government jobs.