It is a peculiar paradox. There is on the one hand a mad rush for bank employment and, on the other, a good number of selected candidates are rejecting job offers.

Information obtained from various banks shows that 15-20 per cent of the selected candidates do not join. This is surprising as, just in the case of the State Bank of India, over 10 lakh had applied for 1,500 probationary officer postsearlier this year. Latest data reveal that over 53,000 officers and clerks were recruited by banks in the current financial year (the process started last year), and almost every bank had a set of non-joiners. For instance, of the 730 probationary officers selected by Union Bank of India, only 583 joined. And, of the 490 to whom Vijaya Bank issued joining letters, only 380 reported for duty. Central Bank of India could fill up only 275 of the 505 trainee officer vacancies in the unreserved category.

Experts differ on the reasons for this trend. Anil K. Khandelwal, who headed a panel on human resource in public sector banks a few years back, told Business Line that place of posting is a key determinant on whether a candidate will join or not.

The other draw is higher studies. Many join up but leave soon enough discouraged by poor career prospects and dull work environment.

“I found the work environment full of politics... Sometimes, the only option available for an officer to get work done is to do it himself. The working hours are also long,” Mythili Charan Mishra from Patna said. He quit his trainee officer job in an associate bank of SBI.

Banks, however, say the situation will improve. H. S. Upendra Kamath, Chairman and Managing Director, Vijaya Bank, and M. Anjaneya Prasad, Executive Director of Syndicate Bank, expect the ratio of those joining to be higher than last year.

The previous year, candidates had a choice of offers from many banks, whereas this year, under the new system of routing, the offer will be only from one bank.

TROUBLE

But over 60,000 people who cleared the IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) exam for officers and clerks are upset about this as it would deny opportunities for them. “Banks should immediately fill up the vacancies created by those not joining. Also, IBPS had allotted fewer candidates than what the banks require,” Zia Mandal, an aspirant complained.

naga.gunturi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 3, 2013)
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