According to recent reports, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has selected a total of 51 candidates for filling up vacancies for the posts of commercial inspector and commercial clerk. These 51 candidates were selected after they completed a two-year training period as commercial apprentices at the Zol Railway Training Institute at Alipurduar followed by a written examition. Apparently, these 51 candidates had been initially selected as commercial apprentices in the year 2015 and sent for the two-year training. What is rather shocking is that not a single one of the 51 selected candidates is from Assam or any of the north-eastern States. It is not as though incumbents functioning in these posts are required to perform duties that call for a very high level of intelligence. These are run-of-the-mill jobs that can be performed with average intelligence. It is, therefore, very surprising that not a single person from the entire north-eastern region was deemed suitable for any of these posts. On being contacted for a statement on this serious anomaly, NFR officials merely said that recruitment for jobs in the Indian Railways was done on an all-India basis, and that there was no provision for ‘region specific’ reservation of jobs. “The candidates have been selected on the basis of merit. There is no reason for controversy as everything has been done as per the rule books,” said an NFR official. No one in his senses is prepared to believe that there was not a single candidate from the north-eastern region with the required merit for fairly pedestrian appointments. It would be interesting to find out how truly ‘all-India’ the selection of the 51 candidates has been. The media should insist on a complete list of selected candidates and alyse the list in terms of recruitment from the different States of India. One can make a safe guess that the majority of the selected candidates are from Bengal. It is for such partisan modes of selection that the government of Assam and all major organizations of the State should insist on the NFR that there has to be ‘region specific’ reservations of jobs considering that the actual selections tend to be ‘region specific’ even though they are claimed to be done on an all-India basis. It will not do to tolerate pious statements of totally impartial and merit-based selections when, in actual fact, employment in the NFR, has generally been very ‘region specific’ in favour of one State and against the legitimate interests of the Northeast.
Very Unfair to Locals