ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Campus Recruitments Are Unfair

Getting employment in the organised sector has become a challenge. A moderate rate of economic growth has not been able to generate enough employment growth, and has, in fact, been accompanied by a slowdown in employment growth in recent years. Employment opportunities in the public services too are not keeping pace with the growing number of graduating students. At the same time, we see the central public sector undertakings (CPSU) and public sector banks (PSB) conducting a considerable number of campus placements.

Getting employment in the organised sector has become a challenge. A moderate rate of economic growth has not been able to generate enough employment growth, and has, in fact, been accompanied by a slowdown in employment growth in recent years. Employment opportunities in the public services too are not keeping pace with the growing number of graduating students. At the same time, we see the central public sector undertakings (CPSU) and public sector banks (PSB) conducting a considerable number of campus placements. Recruitment to public sector companies should be through fair and open competition. These job opportunities must be advertised publicly and potential candidates should be given reasonable access to information about them, the requirements and the selection process.

Section 4 of the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 requires that the “employer in every establishment in public sector in that State or area shall, before filling up any vacancy in any employment in that establishment, notify that vacancy to such employment exchanges as may be prescribed” and Section 5 of the act requires “the employer in every establishment in public sector in that State or area shall furnish such information or return as may be prescribed in relation to vacancies that have occurred or are about to occur in that establishment, to such employment exchanges as may be prescribed.” However, these provisions are not being complied with in most of the cases due to the campus recruitment.

The recruitment in government and government-owned entities must follow the standard procedure of selection through written examination, followed by group discussion and personal interview for candidates wherein clear guidelines exist in terms of weightage of marks in written exam and personal interview, respectively. There are no guidelines either from the ministries or from the courts on how campus placements should be carried out and it is the whims and fancies of the respective managements that seem to count.

In a number of court rulings, the view is that calling for candidates from employment exchanges would curb to a certain extent the menace of nepotism and corruption in public employment. But, later on, it was concluded that some appropriate method consistent with the requirements of Article 16 should be followed. In other words there must be a notice published in the appropriate manner calling for applications and all those who apply in response thereto should be considered fairly. Even if the names of candidates are requisitioned from employment exchanges, in addition it is mandatory on the part of the employer to invite applications from all eligible candidates from the open market by advertising the vacancies in the media.

The Madras High Court has issued notices to central and state governments, besides various PSUs in response to a petition seeking a ban on campus recruitment. The centre through the Ministry of Finance asked all PSBs to desist from the practice of directly recruiting officers from campuses in view of the Supreme Court strictures in this regard, in August 2014. In view of this, the Ministry of Law and Justice has observed that “recruitment of officers in public sector banks against permanent direct recruitment vacancies on a regular basis by resorting to campus recruitment/interview method may not be in accordance with the law.” Why does this not apply to CPSUs?

The rule of law inhibits arbitrary action and also makes it liable to be invalidated. Every action of the state or its instrumentalities should not only be fair, legitimate and above-board but should be without any affection or aversion. Procedural fairness is an implied mandatory requirement to protect against arbitrary action where statute confers wide power coupled with wide discretion on an authority. Therefore, it is a settled legal proposition that no person can be appointed even on a temporary or ad hoc basis without inviting applications from all eligible candidates.

Prasanth Vuppuluri 
Visakhapatnam

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top