Government jobs losing their sheen in Kerala
17 Dec, 2010
Thiruvananthapuram: Government jobs are losing their sheen, if one goes by the attendance level at tests conducted by the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC).
Only 25 percent of applicants appeared for tests for posts of lower division clerks (LDCs) in government departments, lower grade posts in the State Government Secretariat and conductors in Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
This is when about two million youths had applied for the post of peons in government service recently.
The low turnout is sought to be interpreted as the manifestation of a declining interest in government jobs and possibly a change of mindset among youths, who considered government jobs as the ultimate until a few years ago.
Even now, many government posts are manned up by overqualified candidates.
There are PhDs among constables and KSRTC conductors. Either they had failed to get proper placements befitting their qualifications in government service or had probably preferred the safety of some government job with assured pension benefits vis a vis the private sector that ensured little guarantee in service.
But this mindset is changing, going by the recent dropout of constable trainees in the Stat police department. Out of the 3,000-odd candidates selected by the PSC to the post, more than half quit the training. Only1,250 candidates completed the training and attended the passing-out parade.
Many of those who called off the training midway had higher qualifications like MPhil and PhD.
They’d probably preferred to wait for suitable Government jobs or search private jobs that fitted in with their academic standing. Some of them must have found the rigorous constable training out of step with their concept of a career option.
The phenomenal growth of the service sector in Kerala also point to the breaking down of traditional barriers against private sector jobs.
Tourism especially offered a certain dignity to the job profile. Youths have no hangups about joining the hotel industry unlike a decade back when many would reckon hotel jobs infra dig and even prefer to be remain unemployed.
However, these days the private sectors have also started introducing security measures like medical insurance, pension plans, private provident fund and gratuity. This have attracted youths to the private sector.
Besides, the Gulf still offered a bouquet of opportunities and there has been a shift in the profile of the Gulf jobs-eekers, from unskilled and semiskilled to graduates and postgraduates.
A recent study on migration conducted by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) found that the Gulf job was still the first option for the majority of youths in the state. The number of emigrants from the State had increased from 1.4 million in 1998 to 2.2 million in 2008 despite the global meltdown.
But back home, the trend is slightly worrying since it can lead to a shortage of hands for non-gazetted Government jobs.
But that’s a distant concern because there are still thousands waiting for jobs on the live registers of Government employment exchanges.
The State is already in the grip of a chronic and acute shortage of labour, a problem now being addressed by immigrant labor from north Indian States.
Slowly this trend would accost the lower strata of government sector, presenting new sociological challenges for the state.
Courtesy: the peninsula