Agri-Horti graduates want govt to hire trained professionals

Agri-Horti graduates want govt
Sun, Feb 10, 2019

Staff Reporter
Professional degree holders in agriculture and horticulture subjects have claimed that the State government’s ambitious organic mission is attracting negative perception due to lack of employees having the requisite expertise and degrees.  
Reiterating their demand for creation of fresh posts to absorb agriculture and horticulture degree holders in the wake of recent promotion of Village Level Workers to horticulture and agriculture inspectors, the graduates came together under the Sikkim Unemployed Agriculture and Horticulture Graduate Association (SUAHGA) and demanded 50 percent reservation for the degree holders in such technical posts.
“Our association has been raising the issue for 23 years now. The State organic mission will not reap the right expertise when untrained individuals are hired and promoted. Even in the recent one family one job scheme, 1040 agriculture marketing assistant posts were created. We have pursued professional degrees, yet nor the department or the State government considers us for the posts resulting in lack of technical platform,” said SUAHGA vice president Bikash Bhattarai during a news conference at Press Club of Sikkim here today. The members lamented that for 23 years, the horticulture and agriculture graduates have been denied justice as the criteria for appointment of VLWs has been class XII pass.
The graduates had taken up the issue with Agriculture minister Somnath Poudyal on February 7 who called for a meeting with Horticulture secretary Khorlo Bhutia the next day. “The secretary told us that the order for the promotion came from the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling who had urged the department to promote Group C and D employees who had completed 5 years of service. We know this is a mechanism to lure the votes from the promoted employees while the department is working to absorb the left-out candidates. If that is the case, then 800 odd graduates in horticulture and agriculture will decide where the vote is going for this coming election", stated Bikash Subba, a member of the SUAHGA.
Citing that agriculture and horticulture studies being at par with medical studies, the students also placed demand for Agriculture and Horticulture University in the State along with National Organic Farming Research Institute in the State to better the research of organic farming in the State. "We are not begging to the department to recruit us, we are demanding what is genuine for which we have a right. The department and the SPSC have violated the Sikkim Service Rule, and unless 50 percent recruitment is done for fresh candidates, we will call for an agitation as well as take that matter legally. We demand that the department instead of working to absorb the left out candidates must forward our demand to the Department of Personnel and create posts for us. We will settle the matter, until 77 and 40 new posts are created,” the members said.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi