SHILLONG:

The state government has asked the Centre to amend the draft model notification of Department of Posts by prescribing knowledge of local language spoken in Meghalaya.

In a letter to the Union Minister for Communication, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on May 23, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the language could be either Khasi or Garo for candidates to opt for. This is in addition to Hindi and English as is being done in the states of Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.

He said this will enable educated unemployed youth of the state to take advantage of the job opportunity,” he added.

The appeal was made after the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) had recently sought the intervention of the chief minister in the matter.

The Ministry of Communication, Department of Posts, has sanctioned 445 Gramin Dak Sevaks, Branch Post Masters and Assistant Branch Post Masters for posting in post offices across Meghalaya for which the recruitment process is likely to begin soon.

Pointing out that the draft model notification of Department of posts prescribes Hindi or English Sangma said that this criteria would narrow down the chances of local youths to avail the opportunity as they have to compete with candidates from outside the state who normally score better in these languages.

According to the chief minister, among candidates who are selected from outside the state, very few normally join in Meghalaya considering its remoteness and tough geographical terrain.

Even those who join, opt out for posting to their respective home states by exercising the option available to them under the existing service rules of postal employees after putting in a year’s service. As such the very purpose of opening BPOs in remote villages in Meghalaya will get defeated, he added.