While announcing economic reforms in the light of Covid-19 impact on businesses and Governance, India’s Finance Minister has made a big announcement: Every PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKING in India will now be privatized, except 4, in strategic sectors. The impact of this privatization scheme on government jobs and the G.A.T.E examination is also a major concern for most people.
Is this going to be one of India’s biggest privatization drive?
The government’s announcement about the new privatization drive has slightly shaken the nation. All Public sector undertakings under the non-strategic sector will get privatized while in the strategic sector, there will be only 1 to 4 Public sector undertakings fully owned by the Government.
Though the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sethuraman did not divulge anything much about the drive, exact dates, and manner in which this mega-exercise will be accomplished. She said that at least one Enterprise will remain Fully government-owned in the strategic sector, but private undertakings will also be given entry in the strategic sector. In other sectors, Public sector enterprises will completely get privatized (timing to be based on factors like feasibility and etc).”
She later mentioned, that in the strategic sector, except for 4 Public sector undertakings, all will be either taken over by the private companies, or merged, or bought under holding firms.
Now here a question arises about the impact of this privatization scheme on government jobs and G.A.T.E examinations.
Privatization’s impact on G.A.T.E examination
Over 8 lakh students appear for the G.A.T.E exam every year, but only around 10,000 aspirants enroll for admissions in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for the M.Tech or Ph.D. courses. The rest, seek opportunities in Public Sector Undertakings (Public sector undertakings) established by the Government.
What makes PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS so alluring for youth is the job security it offers, with the tag of being a ‘white-collared job. The IITs are also reportedly having a hard time retaining their M.Tech students, with many leaving the course after getting jobs in PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS. It has been told that out of 8,000 odd students, around a couple of thousands leave the course after getting jobs at PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS every year.
But the scenario is not going to be the same this time. The new policy of privatization may take away the perks of qualifying G.A.T.E examinations with great scores.
Currently, there is a decree to take students through a common entrance exam for jobs in Public sector undertakings and central government companies, this was to make sure that every candidate gets an equal opportunity no matter which part of this country they belong to. Even huge organizations like DRDO, BARC, and ISRO have stopped visiting the top IIT campuses owing to the same reason.
Earlier, Public sector undertakings used to conduct their own entrance exams individually, but after sensing the exponential increase in the number of engineering graduates in India seeking jobs in PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS, they decided that the G.A.T.E marks shall be the basic criteria for initial shortlisting of employees. Indian Oil was the first-ever PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKING to recruit on the basis of G.A.T.E scores, then undertakings like NTPC, BHEL, BEL, and PGCIL also started following the trend.
After the privatization of Public sector undertakings, the rules of the corporations will certainly change. The top-level management will be shuffled, and the mandate of recruiting employees through a common entrance or G.A.T.E may get discarded. The undertakings may start visiting the campus of state-owned and central owned government colleges for placements like many other top private firms do. They might still hold on to G.A.T.E for recruitment, but the chances for this are a little too less.
Impact on existing government jobs
It depends on the deal/agreement of the takeover. Many times employees are retained even after the privatization of the organization but the mandatory benefits given to employees may get either ceased or changed. Nothing much is revealed by the finance ministry as yet. But older employees may lose their jobs. Private sector undertakings are usually profit-oriented unlike public sector undertakings, and they prefer new blood and zest to get their jobs done.
Some companies have started categorizing the list of their employees. Sources say that employees who are either more than 60 years in age or who have worked in the organization for more than 30 years may get scooped out.
Though the latest buzz from sources say that the government is considering a plan to give job protection to the employees of the PSUs of strategic sectors for three to five years post-privatization
The strategic disinvestment deals completed so far have a one year lock-in period for employees.
This new policy has given rise to a feeling of insecurity amongst the employed group of society but let’s see if this new privatization scheme turns out to be a boon for the sinking economy of India.