Kerala

Cabinet moves to assuage striking PSC rank holders

Sportspersons celebrate in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday the Cabinet’s decision to provide employment to 82 athletes who had won gold, silver and bronze medals in the National Games.  

The Cabinet on Wednesday announced the creation of posts in excess of the requisite number in the Sports and Youth Affairs Department to employ 82 athletes who had won gold, silver and bronze medals for Kerala in the National Games.

The ‘unusual’ decision to generate supernumerary posts to accommodate the striking athletes without waiting for vacancies to emerge reflected the LDF's political gambit to impede the Opposition efforts to weaponise the ongoing protest of PSC rank holders against the government.

The month-old roadside sit-in protest of PSC rank holders in front of the Secretariat had included the medal-winning athletes alongside those on the rank list for appointment to the post of last grade employees, civil police officers (CPO) and other posts.

The Cabinet also decided to raise a new battalion to combat rising urban crime, economic offences, and national security threats. The proposed Kerala Armed Police Batallion (VI) has 100 CPO posts with 25 set aside for women. However, the Cabinet has not indicated whether or not it would revive the expired CPO rank list.

The PSC rank holders on the list had moved the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) seeking an extension of its validity. They might also petition the High Court. The government was unlikely to oppose their plea in the tribunal or the High Court.

However, the government was hard-pressed to revive an obsolete PSC rank list. Such a move was legally untenable and would lead to litigations, an official said.

The Cabinet also created at least 100 new posts in various departments, possibly to benefit the striking last grade rank holders. A government delegation had promised the rank holders that the administration would expedite promotions and report vacancies speedily to create more post for them. The government had also extended the validity of the rank list till August.

The Congress and the BJP had attempted to fan youth anger against the LDF. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had pushed the PSC agitation into the national limelight by visiting the agitation venue.

The LDF had claimed that the government had given postings to more than 13,000 youths via PSC. The creation of more employment avenues in the government and private sector was the LDF’s central election plank to attract young voters.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 4:04:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cabinet-moves-to-assuage-striking-psc-rank-holders/article33925580.ece

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