The Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (AGMS) is gearing up to launch an agitation raising a slew of demands, including holding a fresh examination for the posts of committed social workers in the State after cancelling the earlier one conducted by the Tribal Development department a few weeks ago .
Speaking to The Hindu on Thursday, AGMS State coordinator M. Geethanandan said though the department had conducted an examination on January 24 for filling vacancies of 56 committed tribal promoters in the State on contract basis, there were malpractices involved in the process.
The question paper was prepared by a private agency, and there were no questions on tribal issues, Mr. Geethanandan said. Moreover, the OMR sheets were collected after entering the names of candidates, instead of giving false numbers, on each paper after the examination, he said.
“We suspect that the examination was a farce, and it was part of an attempt to fill vacancies with those having no experience in the tribal sector,” he alleged.
The posts had been created in 2014 to ensure that tribal people benefited from various schemes and incentives of the government.
A postgraduate degree in social work, sociology, or anthropology was the basic qualification for the post, and each social worker was paid an honorarium of ₹20,000 a month.
As many as 2,000 candidates had applied for the posts, including 160 tribespeople. The Interview has been scheduled for February 24 for 15 posts in Wayanad district, and only four persons from tribal communities have been shortlisted.
While several jobless tribal youths in the district were qualified for the post, selection of candidates from the General Category was not proper, and it should be restricted to tribal candidates, he said.
Mr. Geethanandan also demanded that the age limit of tribal promoters be raisd from 30 to 35. Vulnerable sections such as Paniya, Kattunayakkan, and Adiya should get priority for appointments, he added.
The organisation will stage a dharna in front of the district collectorate here at 10 a.m. on Monday raising the demands, he said. If the government fails to address the demands, the agitation will be intensified, he warned.