Kerala: Plan to lower qualification to lure Scheduled Caste students

Plus Two likely to be minimum qualification for apprenticeship scheme.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finding that not enough Scheduled Caste candidates are applying for the 'apprenticeship' scheme, the Scheduled Caste Department might lower the minimum qualification for picking candidates from graduation to Plus Two. The objective of the apprenticeship scheme is to prepare SC youth to take up office jobs like clerks. "The idea is to improve the competency of SC youth by imparting training in office work, so as to make them fit for absorption in private and public companies or organisations," a top SC department official said.

The list of qualified candidates is requested from the district employment exchange. "If sufficient candidates are not received from the exchange, the usual practice is to create awareness by publishing ads in newspapers," the official said. Qualified candidates are interviewed by a committee including the district collector and the district development officer for SCs. There is a monthly stipend of Rs 10,000. The candidate is selected for one year, and if the candidate is found promising, she would be granted extension for a year.

However, despite the attractive terms, there are not much takers for the scheme. "Obviously, many SC candidates do not satisfy the qualifications required. And if they have the qualifications, they would have already found better courses or jobs," the official said. For instance, in Ernakulam district, where jobs are the highest, there are virtually no applicants. In Kollam district, where the scheme had the most takers, the allotment for the component was Rs.15.40 lakh, and till December 2017 Rs 9.78 lakh was disbursed.

As it stands, the qualification for the scheme is graduation, along with diploma in Computer Applications (DCA) and Computer Operator & Programming Assistant (COPA) and knowledge in Malayalam computing. An internal report has recommended that plus two should be made the minimum qualification for the apprenticeship of SC youths in the post of clerk-cum-typist.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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