GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA) staged a sit-in demonstration here today demanding of the State government to immediately issue special instructions for filling up more than ten thousand backlog vacancies meant for scheduled tribe (ST) people in various departments, and also calling attention on several other issues afflicting the tribal people of Assam.
The CCTOA is an umbrella organisation of 19 ST bodies of Assam. The demonstrators also demanded of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to ensure a Cabinet approval for modification of an office memorandum (OM) issued by the Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes Department (WPT&BC), which, according to them, is the only way to ensure a fair deal for the SC/ST candidates in matters of promotion.
�Due to a number of technical reasons involved, without amending the OM issued by the department on August 3, 2016, it is not possible to fill up the backlog of 12,155 posts meant for the ST (Plain) and SC (Hills) people of the State in the government departments,� chief coordinator of the CCTOA Aditya Khaklari told The Assam Tribune.
In various departments of the State, there are 5107 ST (P) and 7048 for ST(H), mostly belonging to the third and fourth grades. Most of these posts are in departments like elementary education, higher education, PWD, water resources and health and family welfare.
�It is seen that many departments are promoting junior general category candidates superseding the seniormost SC and ST candidates by referring to the �controversial� Clause IV of the defective office memorandum. The Assembly Committee for the SCs and STs has recommended several times to modify the memorandum, which is completely being ignored due to the involvement of vested interest groups,� the CCTOA alleged.
�Not a single vacancy could be filled up because of the office memorandum which also ensures minimum 78 per cent direct recruitment of the general category but is conspicuously silent about any clear-cut stand on reserving the remaining 22 per cent for the reserved category in the government services and posts,� Khaklari added.
The CCTOA has also opposed a move taken by the State education department to de-reserve 547 posts of LP school teachers meant for ST (P) in Barak Valley in the name of medium of instruction.
�The 547 regular posts should not be de-reserved at any cost against the interest of the tribal communities of Assam. These posts should be distributed to the districts populated by the tribal communities in the Brahmaputra Valley,� the organisation said.