A parliamentary panel has strongly recommended that the government issue guidelines to ensure the Scheduled Cast/ Scheduled Tribe certificate of an employee is verified within six months of joining the service. The parliamentary standing committee on the welfare of SC/STs said that the Department of Personnel & Training in coordination with the state governments should make verification of caste certificate a time-bound exercise so that it is not used as a tool to harass gullible SC and ST employees at the time of retirement.
“The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare) should issue clear guidelines to all PSUs/organisations/ Public Sector Banks, etc that caste certificate of a person be verified within six months of joining of a person,” the panel said in its report tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday.
The State Level Scrutiny Committee which has issued the certificate should be asked to verify the authenticity of the certificate in a minimum time of six months or before confirmation of the employees whichever is later at any cost. In case of any reason the state-level scrutiny committee is not able to do it, it must take extension in writing by recording the reasons thereof but for not more than six months at any cost, it said.
The committee said many a time it is seen that the verification process takes longer because old records are not accessible. This especially is the case if verification is being done after 30-35 years of joining by a person. Records that are very old are difficult to access. Most employees in offices are retired or transferred by then and they are unable to verify the authenticity of a certificate issued by their predecessors a long time ago, the panel said.
The committee said it is ironic that almost all the ministries, departments, PSUs, banks and autonomous bodies, SC and ST employees are facing the same problem of verification of caste certificate during the joining, promotion, probation before and after retirement and still nothing concrete has been done to resolve their vital issue of livelihood and life.
“The Committee expresses its deep sentiments and dissatisfaction over the working of the concerned Ministries/Departments etc to keep their eyes and ear close on this vital matter,” it said. The Committee strongly recommended to the DOPT to sensitise all the ministries, departments, PSUs, banks and other autonomous bodies to work speedily in light of the above guidelines from the parliamentary panel until formal guidelines to this effect are issued by the DoPT in consultation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and state governments, the report said.
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