Every cause has an effect. The decision by the government regarding abolish of Self Help Groups of Engineers must have been preceded by careful thought about its potential repercussions. Widespread protests happened as hundreds of people associated with it were badly impacted.
The better sense seems to have prevailed as the government “under the instructions of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha”, constituted a committee headed by his Baseer Ahmad Khan to examine all issues pertaining to the SHG scheme. The panel will examine all the aspects of the scheme in detail including the “background of its creation,” as per an official statement.
While the decision by the government seems to be in the right earnest, suggesting of “alternative course of action for the future” sounds like the administration may not revoke its order. If the interpretation of the order is closing the door at the relook of the previous order, it should be given a thorough thought.
Under the SHG scheme, small government contracts were allotted to out of work engineers to sustain a decent and respectable livelihood.
As per the Directorate of Employment, there are around 700 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of Engineers registered in and around 3000 Degree and Diploma holders are involved. From 2010 to November 2019, as many as 7819 works, amounting to Rs 584.18 crores have been allotted to SHGs of Engineers by line departments. The administration’s decision to do way with SHGs ought to be analyzed in a large picture.
If the government is seeing them as 3000 individuals, the view is flawed simply because they represent 3000 families and their livelihood is directly dependent on the continued functioning of SHGs.
In fact, the alternative arrangement was thought of and implemented during 2004 by the then Government in response to the agitating engineers and diploma holders who were demanding jobs. In fact, they were adjusted and since then 16 years have passed without there being any complaints seeking placement in government departments by these engineers.
Also, most of them, if not all, have already passed the upper age limit for applying for the government job commensurate to their degrees and diplomas achieved through hardworking.
While the administration seems not in a position to provide government jobs to these educated youth, there is a need to relook at the basic order and rescinded it. Even government shall ensure they get more reservations in work quota allotted to them.