In the frenzied race for stable employment opportunities in the public sector, one of the fields quite popular among the youth in the country is the banking sector. It has always been considered to be a good career path for students, but the aspirants need to go through a tedious recruitment processes in order to get placed in nationalized banks. However, for quite some months now, it has been home to various controversies that have left the future of hundreds of candidates hanging in permanent uncertainty. Recruitment into banks by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is now a nightmare, even for the students who have qualified both the written tests and the interviews.
IBPS has, at the brink of the moment of job allotments, introduced a 10% reserve limit on the waiting list of candidates, basically refusing jobs to all those qualified candidates who do not fall under the limit, in spite of available vacancies in various banks.
The institute has been conducting Common Written Examinations (CWE) for different posts in PSU banks for three years now, designated by the Ministry of Finance in order to “smoothen the process of recruitment”.
To fill up the total number of vacancies in all participant banks, IBPS generally comes out with several lists along with the first list of qualified candidates which includes the top scorers. As per the clause it released in its advertisement for recruitment in banks for the year 2014-2015, candidates needed to qualify both in the CWE and interview to be shortlisted for the subsequent allotment process. Even the notification released just before the interview mentioned the same. However, after the selection of candidates was over, the IBPS suddenly released a notice that introduced the 10% reserve limit onto the vacancies that the participating banks have, making it absolutely clear in its clauses that all the other qualified candidates who are not provisionally allotted will not be considered for any further allotment process.
The disgruntled candidates who fell victim to the injustice of IBPS have raged a battle against it, protesting against the sudden change being brought about. The matter finally found the attention of the Ministry of Finance, which instead of addressing the students’ grievances, declared the “back door job cut” as a permanent policy from the year 2015. The justification it presented was to bring about “transparency in the declaration of results by IBPS”.
This puts the future of the qualified candidates in the year 2014-2015 in serious jeopardy. The new rule that has been introduced at this crucial time of job allotment will now be applied for 2015 onwards as per the order of the MoF, making the recruitment process for the present batch all the more complicated and vague.
Various RTIs filed for the participating banks have clearly revealed sufficient vacancies. Even the banks are requesting IBPS for further allotment processes, to which it is turning a deaf ear. In fact, the year 2013-2014 stands testimony to the fact that after the first allotment of qualified candidates in nationalized banks, 34.12% additional vacancies were created, making it thoroughly illogical to put a 10% reserve list and kick out all other qualified candidates.
The entire situation appears to be absolutely unconstitutional since it denies the people of the fundamental right to equal opportunity. It is unjustified as the clause was brought out at the last moment, and none of the stepwise notifications or advertisements throughout the selection process had even mentioned the clause, keeping the students in dark and denying qualified youth stable jobs. Also, it is a clear violation of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 57 OF 2008 which suggests that any change in the selection criteria in midst of the selection process is not permissible. The IBPS, however, stands adamant to its stand, refusing to answer all the questions that arose against it.
The new tactics of the IBPS/MoF has given lieu to various private organizations to extort money in the name of “training periods”. Since the IBPS isn’t responding to the requisitions to fill up vacancies and seek to transfer the additional vacancies to the coming year, banks like The Syndicate Bank indulge in independent recruitment that ultimately drive the selected candidates to be trained by private institutions like Manipal group of Educational Institutes. Such institutions extract exorbitant fees from the candidates to be trained for their jobs, proving to be yet another nuisance.
As per a report by All India Students’ Association (AISA), IBPS has been known to be involved in various controversies in the past as well; excluding various candidates from even appearing in exams. It was only after protests from various organizations like AISA, RYA and others that the IBPS took back its elitist criteria of candidates appearing in the exam. This time, however, IBPS has the backing of the MoF to refuse thousands of candidates their right to employment.
Today, AISA organized a protest at the Department of Finance against IBPS for having changed the rules at the last moment, and the illogical reasoning of the authorities which as a result curtails avenues of stable employment for the youth in the country. It demands more transparent and accountable recruitment policies that may assure employment to the discarded candidates. In a situation of increasing job cuts and shrinking employment opportunities, the youth should rise up together against such injustice.