Uncertainty looms large over fate of more than hundred horticulture graduates due to alleged erroneous policy of the government.
The students alleged they have been excluded from the recruitment process for the posts of assistant horticulture officer (AHO) while students with degree in agriculture have been given priority. According to the complainants, students with degree in horticulture have to study 20 subjects related to horticulture while agriculture students read only five subjects. Evidently, the horticulture students have more knowledge in horticulture than that of the agriculture students. Hence allowing the agriculture students to apply for the vacancies is not acceptable to them, students of horticulture said, adding, government’s fresh rule on horticulture and agriculture has turned out to be a curse for them. Due to the wrong policy of the government, only 13 horticulture graduates could be absorbed in 107 AHO posts, the students alleged.
With an objective to boost horticulture, the government had set up a horticulture college in 2008 at Chipilima under Dhanakauda block in the district which is the only horticulture college in the state. Till end of June this year, 144 students were given degrees from the college. On the other hand, Orissa Public Service Commission (OPSC) published an advertisement for 123 posts of AHO in April. By making the students of agriculture eligible for the posts which are specialised for the horticulture students, the government is ruining their chances, the students of horticulture alleged.
“The government is playing with our careers and we condemn the policy. No student would take admission in the college unless the policy is revised immediately,” Monalisa Kispatta, a student of the college from Koraput said.
Echoing similar sentiment, another aspirant Tanmay Kumar Behera from Bhubaneswar said, it was beyond his understanding as to why the authorities were resolute to fill up the posts by agriculture graduates which were meant for horticulture pass outs.
“The government’s step-motherly attitude towards us is not acceptable. All the posts should be reserved for the horticulture degree holders,” Ramesh Chandra Meher of Nuapada said.