200 posts reserved for ex-servicemen, challenged vacant; HPPSC alerts govt

A pioneer in sending its men to defend the country's frontiers, Himachal Pradesh is yet to come up to mark in providing jobs to ex-servicemen, particularly in health, engineering, higher education and forest services sectors.

Reason: Most men, who join the army and para-military forces at an early age, fail to update their technical or educational skills, or do not get in-service opportunity to pursue any professional courses, including those in engineering or medical streams.

Himachal Pradesh State Public Service Commission (HPPSC) records show that there is a backlog of more than 200 posts, reserved for the ex-servicemen and handicapped persons, pending for past three years due to non-availability of suitable candidates in both the categories.

"We have alerted the government on 150-odd vacancies in different departments of the state. Since ex-servicemen do not have the qualifications required for professional services as health officers, veterinary officers, science teachers and assistant engineers, the posts have remained vacant," confirms RN Batta, HPPSC secretary.

The HPPSC, in fact, has raised some of the pertinent issues with the state government and sought clarification on recognition or equivalency of technical and professional qualifications required by the ex-servicemen during the service period of the posts of assistant engineers (electrical), medical officers, both dental and general, Ayurveda officers, range forest officers, drug inspectors, horticulture officers, principal college cadres), assistant engineers (civil) and veterinary officers, beside assistant public relations officers.

During past three years, the vacancies were advertised several times but no one came forward for the posts as the eligibility criteria and qualifications required weren't acquired by the ex-servicemen.

"The issue has really become important in view of the job market having already frozen but here the posts have remained vacant because there is a deficiency of qualified man power in certain important professions," Batta says.

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