The Government of India recently reported more than 42000 vacancies at several ministries and departments waiting to be filled. These vacancies are specifically to be filled by reserved category candidates. The piling number of backlog vacancies seems to have distressed the entire recruitment process. The government is planning to campaign a “Special Recruitment Drive” to finally fulfil the void. The Committee additionally feels that the Government should check out the circumstance, recognize the root cause of the unfilled reserved positions and take actions to prevent recurrence of the same.
The protocols on the reservation of different posts under several government departments state that if an adequate number of SC/ST/OBC candidates cannot fill up the vacant posts reserved for them in the direct recruitment process, the quota should not be filled by candidates belonging to the unreserved category. This can also be explained as, there is a ban on de-reservation of vacancies reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs indirect recruitment. If a sufficient number of suitable SC/ST/OBC candidates are not available to fill up vacancies reserved for them in the first attempt of recruitment, a second attempt should be made for recruiting suitable candidates belonging to the concerned category in the same recruitment year or as early as possible before the next recruitment year to fill up these vacancies.
Number of Vacancies In Different Departments
Approximately 50% of the posts reserved for SC, ST and OBC categories are lying empty, with Railways and Home Ministries having the largest number. According to the official government data on backlog reserved vacancies released on 01.01.2020, a total of 14,366 vacancies remained unfilled against the approved vacancies of 28,245 in the Schedule Caste (SC) category. Whereas the number of unfilled vacancies in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category is 12,612 and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category is 15,088 across various departments under the posts, railways, housing and urban affairs, defence production, Defence, Atomic energy, and financial services Ministry.
As per the report released by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (DoPT), out of the 29,541 vacancies reserved for OBCs/SCs/STs in railways, 17,769 posts are unfilled. Similarly under the department of the House Ministry, out of the total 30,943 reserved posts, 17,493 are left unfilled.
The finance ministry’s revenue department has kept 7,040 posts of the 10,291 reserved posts vacant. 555 out of the 1,251 reserved posts remain vacant under the housing and urban development ministry. However, the defence production department under the defence ministry has filled up 16,621 posts out of 20,648 reserved vacancies, the highest of all departments, the report stated.
As a response to a Lok Sabha question regarding the number of reserved unfilled positions and special recruitment drive which was likely to be launched for backlog vacancies in the ensuing period, Dr Jitedra Singh from PMO informed that Filling of vacancies, along with backlog reserved vacancies, is a continuous process. All the Ministries/Departments have been requested to ensure that all backlog vacancies for SCs, STs and OBCs are filled up in a time-bound manner, including by undertaking Special Recruitment Drive. Reminders have also been given to them from time to time; the latest being on 03-11-2021.
It was further added that a Liaison Officer will be assigned by every ministry, who will likewise have a Special Reservation Cell to guarantee due to consistency with reservation.