BENGALURU: Exactly a year back, as many as 20,000 candidates wrote the exams for engineer posts conducted by the Public Works Department (PWD). They are yet to get their results. On the other hand, the State government, which took up steps to recruit engineers through KPSC, is facing legal hurdles. Now, the government has sought the opinion of the Advocate General.
During the previous JDS-Congress coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy, PWD had called for 870 engineers posts in March 2019. It had issued a notification for the recruitment of 570 Assistant Engineers (AE) and 300 Junior Engineers (JE). In June 2019, exams were conducted and in July the BJP government came to power which wanted to scrap some of the decisions taken by the previous government including the PWD exams, and instead recruit engineers through KPSC. This was approved at the cabinet meeting held in November. In December, some of the candidates approached the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT).
Meanwhile, the State government had called for 925 engineers posts through KPSC in January this year. But in March, the KAT order came in favour of the candidates who wrote the exams in June 2019. It quashed the government’s new proposal. But then the pandemic-lockdown began. And the candidates don’t know what to do. Shashank B from Kalburgi, one of the candidates, told TNIE that they had met Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and PWD Minister Govind Karajol many times. “Many of us, especially from North Karnataka, came to Bengaluru and stayed for two to three months to take coaching for competitive exams as an alternative. Now the job market is seeing a slump, we cannot even try anywhere else,’’ he said.
Basavaraj from Hubballi said, “We are unemployed now. Private companies ask for experience. All our hopes are shattered.’’ Like him, Prem S from Tumakuru too wrote exams. “Our future looks bleak, we are neither here nor there,’’ he said.On the other side, PWD is facing acute shortage of engineers. “Of the 1,400 junior level engineers we need, we have only 600. These engineers work on the field and play an important role. Without them we cannot take up works. The government is keen on taking trainees on honorarium,’’ an official said.Rajneesh Goel, Additional Chief Secretary (PWD), told TNIE that after the KAT order, the government moved the high court.“Candidates too are planning to approach the high court,’’ said Revanth, an aspirant.