Fate of 1600 Youths Selected for Foreigners' Tribunal Uncertain as NRC Process in Limbo
1,600 youths who had appeared for written and computer examinations for the ministerial staff of Grades 3 and 4 level for 200 upcoming new foreigners tribunals in Assam are today uncertain about their fates. The exams were held rather hurriedly and even the results were announced quickly thereafter.
But ever since the results were published last year the government has not communicated anything further on the status of their appointments or dates of joining.
A candidate who had passed the exams, talking to G Plus under the condition of anonymity said, “On 11th August 2019 we sat for the written exam. On 30th August we passed the written exams and the practical computer exams were conducted on 31st August, 1st September and 2nd September respectively. The final results were published on 19th September 2019 and 1,600 of the candidates got selected.” He further added that according to the job advertisement for the posts, the selected list remains valid for appointment from the date of announcement of results for one year or till the date of the next advertisement for the same post, whichever is earlier. As the results were announced on 19th September 2019, according to the advertisement, the result will remain valid for appointment only till 19th September 2020.
The candidates have, many a time, written to the chief minister and all the prominent ministers in the cabinet but they have not received any replies. Because the process of examination and the results were announced very promptly many candidates had left other career options and some had even resigned from their earlier jobs. As the last day when those results would remain valid is approaching, the candidates are jittery and uncertain about their future. The candidates even contributed and donated Rs 60,000 in Arogya Nidhi – the fund created by way of donations for combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
A candidate talking to G Plus alleged, “Though we are still uncertain about our jobs, 221 members appointed as members for the foreigners' tribunals are withdrawing full salary without doing any work.”
Well, today not only the fate of these 1,600 youths of Assam but the fate of Assam government’s ambitious plan of setting up 200 foreigners’ tribunals hangs in balance even after the appointment of the tribunal members and premises were taken on rent.
Official sources said the state government was waiting for the National Register of Citizens office to start issuing "rejection slips" to those whose applications for inclusion of names in the NRC were rejected.
State National Register of Citizens coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, talking to G Plus said, “The rejection slips have not yet been issued because of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.”
The state was under extended lockdown since March 25, 2020 and the NRC final list was published on 31st August 2019. Yet the rejection slips have not been sent. The process may further take some time as sources in NRC headquarters said that it has been proposed by many to recheck the rejection orders. It is also not clear that post the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, what changes will be made in NRC final list or how will the Hindu minorities who came to Assam before 2014 will get added to the list. The process remains in limbo.
G Plus talked to one of the top officials of the home department in Dispur to understand the status of the 200 foreigners’ tribunals (FTs) for which 1,600 ministerial staff were selected but not appointed. The official expressed ignorance about the 1,600 selected candidates but regarding the 200 FTs he said, “The locations are identified and we are planning to start them after the rejection slips are issued to the people whose names are not there in the NRC list. The rejection slips have not yet been issued.”
The top bureaucrat also said that the members are working on the pending cases.
The chief secretary of Assam did not give a clear answer but said that he is aware that the chief minister has instructed all the departments to speed up the appointment process and the chief secretary thinks that the 1,600 candidates will be appointed soon.
But as the NRC process still remains in limbo the fate of the 1,600 candidates also remains uncertain as unless the rejection slips are issued the 200 new foreigners’ tribunal will not start functioning. If the new FTs are not functional, where these 1,600 candidates will be accommodated remains a big question.
Around 1.9 million of 33 million applicants were excluded from the final NRC draft published on August 31, 2019. Each was supposed to be given a "rejection order" with the reasons for exclusion.
After 31st August 2019 the NRC process seems to have stalled and around 1.9 million people are uncertain about their citizenship fates.