Delhi Government to fulfill its poll promise of regularizing contractual employees

In an attempt to fulfill its poll promises, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi after a cabinet meeting on Saturday asked state departments to identify all contractual staff by November 15 and finalize proposals for their regularization. Recent reports suggest that there are around 50,000 contractual employees working with different departments of Delhi, apart from 17,000 guest teachers working in Delhi government schools.

A move that could impact over 70,000 employees, the departments have been directed to submit their proposals to the chief secretary by November 15, following which a unified policy will be presented before the cabinet. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that in case the Lieutenant Governor did not approve it, the government will take the matter to the Supreme Court. LG Najeeb Jung had turned down AAP’s policy last year as it gave weightage to the guest teachers’ experience. Kejriwal mentioned that the policy was in harmony with the SC judgement in the Uma Devi case that contractual employees ought to sit for an open exam with other aspirants.

A move that is being seen by the experts as one being timed for the municipal polls early next year, regularization of contractual staff was among AAP’s poll promises in 2013 and also in the 2015 assembly polls. During its 49-day run in office, the AAP government had initiated a committee to look into the regularization of contractual employees and when it returned to office the policy was put up before the cabinet. A year has passed since then and the policy has gone through a number of changes.

The Government School Teacher’s Association (GSTA) which appreciated the scheme proposed by AAP government in June last year has, however, shrugged off the new policy. “These promises are being made because MCD elections are coming up. If the government was serious about this, they could have pushed it through, like their decisions on water and electricity,” said GSTA general secretary Ajay Vir Yadav.

The Delhi government on Saturday also resolved to extend its scheme of giving free water of 20,000 litres per month to the residents of New Delhi Municipal Council with retrospective effect and bill refunds made to the residents which has the potential to benefit around 21,000 households living in central Delhi.

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