60,000 government employees hope for permanent jobs

The Aam Aadmi Party-led government's promise to bring an end to contractual employment has come as a ray of hope for thousands of teachers, doctors and managerial level employees who have been working in various Delhi government departments on contract. Sources say there are close to 60,000 blue and white collar staff on contracts in the government for many years as they represent 'the cheaper option'.

The education department has close to 14,000 teachers working on contracts, "Every year, we are forced to hire new teachers as the admission season ends just to balance the student-teacher ratio. To expedite the process we often resort to hiring on contract. Hiring through Delhi Staff Selection Board is a lengthy process and takes years," said a senior officer.

In the health department, there are about 15,500 employees working on contract. They include 5,000 paramedical staff, 5,000 Group D staff and about 500 doctors. In various hospitals, 5,000-strong workforce has been outsourced by the government.

The figures are no better for the transport department. In DTC, there are 4,152 conductors on contract. Close to double that number-7,343-are also on contract as drivers. Sources say 30 depot managers are yet to be made permanent. At Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, too, most employees are either on contract or have been outsourced.

Officials say the biggest reason for opting for contractual employment is financial as a contractual employee does not get allowances and benefits such as house rent, provident fund, government schemes and pension like a regular employee. Most entries in contract category are reference-based and filled by acquaintances of government employees and politicians. Even those not eligible or qualified for the job thus manage to secure it.

Sources say there is a flipside to permanent hiring as well. Permanent hiring reduces the efficiency of employees, particularly Group D staff, once fear of job loss is gone, they said.
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