Money & Banking

Recruitment bias towards Kolkata office upsets RBI employee unions

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 27, 2020

Staff unions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have alleged “a systematic effort to downgrade” the office at Kolkata, which once used to be the central bank’s second biggest. Reserve Bank Employees’ Association (RBEA), Kolkata, a unit of the All-India Reserve Bank Employees’ Association (AIRBEA), has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, requesting her to take up the matter with the RBI Governor.

Freeze on hiring

From 2012 till now, the bank has recruited 4,694 Class III staff, out of which Kolkata has got only 6.7 per cent of the total vacancies declared, Santu Pada Majumdar, Secretary, RBEA, Kolkata, pointed out in the letter.

This office looks after the interests of Bengal, Sikkim, and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Majumdar said the RBI had stopped recruitment from 1990, shrinking the bank precipitously through an embargo on recruitment, introduction of lucrative VRS scheme (under the name of OERS, Optional Early Retirement Scheme), and normal retirement so much so that the total staff strength has been reduced to one-third.

The parent body AIRBEA, too, has been opposing these measures and had intensified protests. Due to the shortage of staff, the RBI was compelled to resume recruitment from 2012 onwards with centre-wise allocations spread over 17 zones.

But from 2013 onwards, a bias was clearly perceptible against the Kolkata office, where vacancies declared have come down sharply every year. A few days back, for the 2019 recruitment, the RBI Central Office had allotted just 11 posts for Kolkata, out of the total vacancy of 926, amounting to just one per cent of the total. In the same list, they have allocated 419 posts (45 per cent) for Mumbai; 67 for Chennai; 42 for Bhopal; and 37 for Jaipur. Kolkata got the lowest, even fewer than the smallest centre of the bank in Jammu, it was pointed out. The RBEA has since submitted a memorandum to the Regional Director, RBI, Kolkata. It said that declaring only 11 Class III vacancies, out of 926, is incompatible with the size and volume of work.

“We are constrained to say that unilateral announcement of vacancies...is a manifestation of a sectarian outlook towards the educated youth of Bengal,” it added.

After 2017, the vacancies were notified only in 2019, but the numbers declared are abysmally short of the requirement, according to Samir Ghosh, General Secretary, AIRBEA. This is unbecoming of a pan-India institution such as the RBI, he said, and requested the Governor to intervene in the matter and dispense justice to the Kolkata office by suitably augmenting the number of vacancies allotted.

Published on January 27, 2020

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