The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the Punjab government and its technical education minister Charanjit Channi to deliver jobs to students instead of insulting them by telling them to accept placements lower than the minimum wages applicable in the State.In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said it was shocking that the government and its Technical education minister was allowing companies to recruit students with technical diplomas and degrees at rates which were lower than the minimum wage prescribed in the State. He said job offers at the so called Rozgar Mela, which was actually an annual placement drive which had been appropriated by the Punjab government for cheap publicity, ranged between Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 per month.The former minister said these job offers were a blatant violation of established norms which stipulated that semi skilled labour force should be given a minimum compensation of Rs 321 per day and skilled manpower that of Rs 356 per day. He said what to talk of offering even this basic pay; students at the so called Mela were being offered even less than the pay of Rs 303 per day fixed for agriculture labour.
Dr Cheema said it was unfortunate that Channi as a responsible representative of the State government had allowed private companies to flout norms so easily. “What is most condemnable is that instead of fixing norms for recruitment in the placement drive which had been taken under the ambit of the State government, Channi insulted students who had pointed out this anomaly to him yesterday. Channi must tell why he protected the interests of the private companies by taunting students and telling them not to aim for big companies like Infosys and HCL and set their sights lower. When our students are able to get jobs in the very best companies in India and abroad, why are their abilities being questioned in this manner? Is this a deliberate attempt to supply cheap work force to private companies? Channi must answer this as his credibility is at stake”.
Stating that he understood the pain of the students who had represented to the Technical Education minister that they were being offered very low pay which did not even cover the expenses for commuting to the company office, the SAD spokesman said the Punjab government was solely responsible for the mess it had created. “Earlier the Congress party raised the hopes of the youth by promising ‘ghar ghar naukari’. Now when it has come to power, it has appropriated the routine placement drive of technical institutions but has failed to fix norms to ensure students are not exploited in any manner.Asking the Punjab government to stop befooling the youth and start delivering, Dr Cheema said the government should tell why it was not filling vacancies in government jobs. He said even 35,000 contractual employees whose jobs had been regularized by the SAD-BJP government were still to get the benefit under the new government. “Services of outsourced employees have been terminated. Sewa Kendras, which were employing thousands of educated youth, have been closed down. In stark contrast the SAD-BJP government under the leadership of S Parkash Singh Badal gave 2.28 lakh jobs to youth. In this regime not a single job has been given till yet”, he added. EOM