Madhya Pradesh govt jobs exclusively for locals, says Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said that his government will bring in laws to ensure that the government jobs in state are reserved only for the local youth.

He also said that his government was preparing a single citizenship database so that people of the state do not have to register for each government scheme separately. It is likely that the extended use of same database will be to ensure domicile of candidates applying for jobs.

The first announcement about this was initially made during an Independence Day function in the state, when Chouhan had said: “Madhya Pradesh youths will be given priority in government jobs. It is our duty to be concerned about the youths of our state at a time when job opportunities are scarce.”

“We will put in place such a mechanism that will ensure employment to local youths on the basis of their mark-sheets of Class X and XII,” Chouhan added.

The chief minister said that the government will work for the development of skills among the state’s youths.

“For this, a skill development park, worth around Rs 600 crore, is being set up in Bhopal with the help of Singapore,” he added.

These developments come in the backdrop of a long-standing insider-versus-outsider row where politicians often target the migrant working population, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for ‘taking away’ jobs meant for the locals.

The debate further gained strength in the wake of the migrant crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the country to shut down for months, leaving poor migrants no option but to walk back to their villages from mega cities that are often a hub of employment for rural youth from multiple states.

The crisis reignited the debate on lack of gainful employment in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, from where people often travel to other states in search of work.

Chief ministers of several of these states have unveiled plans to provide more jobs to local people.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath formed a high-level committee to figure out to figure out returnee workforce can be given jobs; Bihar has taken steps to create employment for 20 lakh people; MP too has relied on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Emplyment Mission to employ those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The issue was raised in the Supreme Court also as the unprecedented crisis unfolded days after a national lockdown was imposed.

With almost 90 percent of population seeking employment in states other than their place of residence having returned to their homes, the Supreme Court in June asked states to prepare a roadmap for providing jobs to the returning migrant population in the home state itself.

Chouhan said that 15 lakh migrant labourers of Madhya Pradesh returned to the state during the coronavirus-induced- lockdown.

“Of them, the job cards of 14 lakh migrant labourers have been prepared in a bid to provide them employment near their residence,” he said.

Chouhan reiterated that the state government will strongly fight the case in the court in favour of increasing the reservation of Other Backward Class (OBC) from 14 percent to 27 percent.

The government’s decision to make government jobs in state exclusive to local population is seen as a major development in the whole migrant crisis versus job creation debate as till now applications were sought from all over the country. Any citizen of India who met the required eligibility criteria could apply for jobs, irrespective of their domicile status. Recently, the notification for hiring of jail guards and technical apprentices in Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company Ltd also invited applications from across India.

With inputs from PTI

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