Naga students appeal to Centre to include local dialects for recruitment of postal employees

Kohima: Welcoming the Centre’s decision to open new branch post offices (BPOs) in the state, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has requested it to include proficiency in local dialect as an additional qualification for recruitment of Gramin Dak Sevaks.

NSF said it has learnt that the department of posts intends to recruit 173 Gramin Dak Sevaks, branch postmasters (BPM) and assistant branch postmasters (ABPMs) to serve in these newly established BPOs.

“The NSF is delighted to acknowledge the ministry of communication’s initiative in the department of posts to open 70 new BPOs in Nagaland. These BPOs are expected to bring essential banking and postal services closer to remote villages of the state, a commendable step towards rural development,” a statement by the NSF said.

Welcoming the recruitment drive, the NSF said the draft model notification by the department of posts stipulates Hindi or English as the local language for the engagement of Gramin Dak Sevaks in Nagaland.

“While these languages are important, this criteria effectively limits the opportunities of local youths, as they must compete with candidates from outside the state, who, due to differing marking patterns, often have better academic proficiency in Hindi and English,” the NSF said.

They also pointed out that candidates from outside Nagaland face difficulties in communicating with the local population due to their limited knowledge of the local tribal dialects/languages.

They said in the past a significant number of candidates from outside the state either do not join or opt for transfers to their home states, rendering the purpose of opening BPOs in remote Nagaland villages less effective.

During the 2020-21 recruitment cycle, only 29 out of 55 selected candidates joined, and several of them subsequently resigned or exercised their transfer option, they said.

“This trend threatens to undermine the vital services that these BPOs aim to provide to the people of Nagaland,” the NSF remarked.

NSF urged upon the Department of Postal Services to consider amending the draft model notification by including “Proficiency in any of the local dialects of Nagaland as an additional qualification,” alongside Hindi and English, for the engagement of Gramin Dak Sevaks in Nagaland.

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