Very retrograde and skewed is the decision of the Goa Cabinet to relax the minimum educational qualification of Officers on Special duty (OSDs) to Ministers. With these OSDs being paid close to a lakh a month from the State coffers, the public are entitled to have well educated and qualified persons appointed to the post which cannot end up being a political appointment. Downgrading the educational criteria by now allowing a 12th Std or diploma holder to be an OSD is a step in the wrong direction which will adversely affect the quality of administration as an OSD to a Minister has a multi-dimensional role to play. Even for the peon’s post in our Courts the minimum educational qualification is 12th. .
The government should realize that nothing can replace the requirement for sound and quality educational qualifications as a pre-requisite in discharging duties of any job. After the BJP came to power in 2012 we have seen thousands being brazenly recruited into government service with merit absolutely thrown to the winds. It has been a deceitful attempt to create a vote bank or jobs for sale to the highest bidder. All this is reflecting in the functioning of the government offices with very incompetent staff having managed to creep in with the blessings of their political godfathers.
Any political interference and manipulation in the selection of government employees is unacceptable. The selection, promotion and transfer of all government employees should be totally insulated from any political machinations whatsoever. It should be strictly on professional merit and merit alone should be the sole criteria in the selection and appointment of every government employee to any post.
Nobody should ignore the fact that the government employee’s first priority is to represent and work in the best interests of its citizens. Government officials like Ministers are accountable to the people. It is the people that pay for their services through their taxes and they are entitled to demand value for money and expect to receive the best service. This is only possible if those appointed are well educated officials recruited on professional merit in an open and fair competition and execute their responsibilities with honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartiality.