Gangtok, Feb 9
Sikkim Unemployed Agriculture and Horticulture Graduate Association [SUAHGA] has demanded for immediate justice for more than 800 unemployed agriculture and horticulture graduates of Sikkim. The association has urged the concerned departments to fulfill its demands in the interest of agriculture and horticulture graduates of the State.
On their demands, Representatives of the association met the Minister for Agriculture & Horticulture Department, Somnath Poudyal on 07 February and placed their issues. Following the same, a meeting between Secretaries and officials of Agriculture and Horticulture Departments and representatives of the association was held here on Friday.
Addressing a press conference, a SUAHGA representative Bikash Subba informed that all related issues of agriculture and horticulture graduates were discussed and the department has assured for positive response and to make a proposal on demands and to forward to the Department of Personnel. Association has also submitted a written memorandum on its demands in the meeting. He informed that the department has assured to provide the minutes of the meeting to the association on Monday. He added that the future course of action of the association depends upon the decision of the concerned departments. “If all our demands would not be fulfilled by the concerned departments then we would compel to take out a mass rally and other steps to get the justice,” Mr Subba said.
SUAHGA has placed demands of immediate creation of vacancies in more than 77 posts of Horticulture ad Agriculture Inspectors and 40 posts in Agriculture Development Officer, Horticulture Development Officer and Watershed Development Officer, amendment of Sikkim State Subordinate Agriculture Service Rule 2001, service rule should be followed for the recruitment of subject matter specialists, establishment of State Agriculture & Horticulture University and National Organic Research Institute for taking the organic mission to next level and to immediately started BSc courses in agriculture and horticulture from the session of 2019-20 in the upcoming Sikkim State University.
On the basis of a notification of ICAR dated 06/10/2016 stated BSc agriculture and horticulture was a professional course which means agriculture and horticulture graduates were at par with medical and engineering graduates, the association demanded for the same weightage should be given to agriculture and horticulture graduate like medical and engineering graduates. The association also demanded for incorporation of agriculture and horticulture as a compulsory subject in 9th to 12th standard in all schools of Sikkim and recruitment of teachers under HRDD and introduction and implementation of separate service rule for agriculture and horticulture department.
Mr Subba alleged that agriculture and horticulture unemployed professionals have been deprived since more than 23 years in direct recruitment particularly in the post of HI, AI, ADO, HDO and WDO. He mentioned that as per the Sikkim Agriculture Service Rule 1994 and Sikkim State Subordinate Service Rule 2001, any vacancy in agriculture and horticulture department departments has to be filled up in the ratio of 50-50 ratio, 50% by promotion and 50% by direct recruitment. On the same, he alleged that the concerned department has always violated the esteemed rules even after the repeated appeal and legal notice sent against the one time relaxation but no replay has been send by the department on the same as of now.
It is informed that with the violation of the service rule, 57 inspectors were promoted to ADO, HDO and WDO who did not even meet the eligibility criteria by sidelining the 50% of direct recruitment. It is further informed that recently 77 VLWs were promoted in the post of agriculture and horticulture inspectors with no direct recruitment in this case as well. On the same, Mr Subba mentioned that due to these reasons BSc, MSc and PhD holders in agriculture and horticulture have not been getting real time opportunity to use their technical knowledge for the welfare of the society.
“We are not asking jobs but we just have demand that the service rules have to be followed strictly and to create posts for us. Even in the recent posts of agriculture marketing assistance created under One Family One Job scheme, no technical persons have been appointed,” he said.