Jobs For Kannadigas: A Wrong PolicyRegionalism is rearing its head once again. The Congress government in Karnataka has proposed that private enterprises will have to reserve 100% blue collar jobs for Kannadigas whenever such natives apply for them. Mercifully, the government also proposes to leave the Information Technology and Biotech sectors out of the ambit of the proposed order.
By Sunil Garodia
What this order means is that if a private company has a vacancy for a blue collar job and receives several applications for it, it will have to select a Kannadiga for the post. Since the government communication is silent on merit, will the companies have to select a native of the state even if he is less qualified or experienced than a non-native? Further, the proposed order will mean that the companies would have to disclose their HR policies to the state labour department. No company is comfortable with that.
Karnataka has progressed due to the huge contribution of its migrant workforce. Most of this progress has been driven by private enterprise. The migrant workers come from as far as the North-East and Bihar, are highly skilled and are willing to do all dirty jobs that the locals shy away from. The proposed order will restrict employee choices before the private companies on the one hand and will make Karnataka a less favoured destination for skilled blue collar workers on the other. The repercussions will spell doom for the states progress. Also, what if other states also adopt this? What will happen to the Kannadigas working there?
Most governments are quick to take the populist route to shore up falling popularity or even to align themselves with the locals. But the interests of the state must be looked into before any proposal is announced. It is a given fact that talent scouts in companies will always look for expertise, experience and record before hiring any person. If a Kannadiga fits the bill, he will be hired in any case. Then there is no need of reserving jobs for them. If not, then the proposed reservation is highly discriminatory.