CM KCR to regularise JPSs, VOAs posts in election year
HYDERABAD: The state government has initiated the process of regularising the services of around 9,500 junior panchayat secretaries (JPSs) in the panchayat raj department and over 19,000 village organisation assistants (VOAs) in the rural development department.
The state government's move to regularise their services follows the JPS's week-long and VOA's month-long agitations for regularisation of their services and enhancement of their salaries. The strike by JPSs and VOAs has had an adverse impact on various services in rural areas, causing hardships to people in villages across the state. The JPSs and VOAs serve a crucial role in village sanitation, drinking water supply, greenery work, and so on, in addition to issuing important certificates such as birth, death, marriage, and residence.
Official sources said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao took stock of the strike situation with officials of panchayat raj and rural development on Friday and gave them instructions to initiate the process for regularising their services. The CM directed the officials to send the files concerned to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) for approval.
The CM created JPS posts for the first time in Telangana in 2018 after amending the Panchayat Raj Act. They were appointed through direct recruitment exams in 2019. Typically, there will be a two-year probation period for the government employees after the selection. The probationary period for JPS posts, however, was set at three years.
They completed four years of service recently, but they continue to be in probation period. They have been demanding regularisation of their services for the past year, but have received no response from the state government, after which they went on an indefinite strike last week.
In March 2017, the CM increased the salaries of JPSs from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 29,000, and VOAs from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 5,000. However, this failed to pacify the employees who have been demanding regularisation of their services to ensure job security and get other benefits such as leaves, pensions, and so on.