Many Central Ministries, including Defence and Home Affairs, have been lagging behind in filling the vacancies under the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).
The backlog in filling up the reserved category vacancies has increased significantly in many departments and no one in the government explains why these posts remain vacant.
According to the data, as on January 1, 2021, there were 1848 vacancies for ‘SC’ candidates in the Defence Ministry, out of which only 45 posts were filled. The number of vacancies for ST was 1,189 and only 22 posts were filled while 3,986 posts were reserved for OBC but only 98 posts have been filled.
In the defence production department, there were 8,847 vacancies for SC posts, out of which 6,967 were filled, for 7,574 vacancies for ST, 5,880 posts were filled and out of 4,684 posts for OBC, 4156 were filled.
In the Ministry of Railways, out of 6,940 posts for SC, 3,582 were filled, 6,055 posts for ST, 2,288 were filled and out of 9,135 posts for OBCs, only 5,640 posts were filled.
Similarly there were 6,393 posts reserved for SC in the Union Home Ministry, out of which only 1,108 posts have been filled. Out of 3,524 ST posts, 466 posts have been filled. Out of 6,610 posts reserved for OBCs, only 717 posts are filled.
The government does not have any agency or mechanism to keep an eye on the backlog of reserved posts in the Central Ministries and there has apparently been no effort made to find out why these posts are not being filled.
Even the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice headed by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi, in its 112th report on the Demands for Grants (2022-23) of the Department of Personnel and Training (Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions) recently flagged this issue and directed the Ministry to have a ‘dashboard’ on their sites showing the details of the backlog of reserved vacancies and the progress made in filling them up.
As per the government data, there were 1044 posts for SC, 667 for ST and 579 for OBC vacant in the Department of Posts till January 1, 2021. The Department of Financial Services, Revenue, Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have hundreds of posts for SC, ST and OBC lying vacant during this period.
The Parliamentary Committee also noted that there is no single nodal agency in the Central government to monitor the backlog in reserved vacancies in various ministries and departments. The committee recommended that the government designate the Department of Personnel and Training as the nodal agency for this purpose.
The panel asked the government to create a dashboard on their sites showing the details of the backlog of reserved vacancies and the progress made in filling them up. The committee further recommended that the DoPT may create a similar dashboard on its site and update it regularly as and when information regarding reserved vacancies is made available to it by the concerned ministries and departments.