Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) to clear the backlog in appointments to reserved posts between 1996 and 2008 before December 31.

The Chief Minister observed at a conference of Ministers, members of the Assembly and officials of the government and the PSC here on Monday to review representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government service that appointments had not taken place to many posts reported to the PSC for various reasons. These vacancies should be notified within three months and filled by December.

Mr. Chandy suggested that if qualified persons could not be found from among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for posts reserved for them, the qualifications might be relaxed or the categories could be changed. Similar action could be taken in the case of non-gazetted posts too.

He noted that the delay in notifying some vacancies were as long as seven years. In the Technical Education Department, some posts had been remaining vacant for as many as 16 years. This could not be countenanced.

He suggested that adalats for special recruitment similar to that done for filling vacancies reserved for the disabled could be conducted in the case of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes also. If issue of any special rules or executive orders were required, the government should be informed of urgently.

He said that the departments concerned could not be absolved of their responsibilities regarding recruitments even if the posts are notified. They should follow up on the recruitment process by the PSC and report any delays or failures on the part of the PSC to the government.

The Chief Minister asked the Secretary (General Administration) K. R. Jyothilal to coordinate matters and hold discussions with the PSC as is necessary. Memos should be issued to departments which fail to report vacancies in time and take follow up action. Mr. Jyothilal was also asked to submit proposals for setting up a monitoring system regarding special recruitment.

Mr. Jyothilal told the conference that 361 vacancies had been reported under categories common to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes besides 391 vacancies exclusively reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

The conference was attended by Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes A. P. Anil Kumar, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes P. K. Jayalakshmi, members of the Assembly K. Radhakrishnan, A. K. Balan, V. P. Sajeendran, K. Ajith, V. Sasi, PSC Secretary P. C. Benoy and government secretaries and heads of departments.