Agartala: With unemployment rate hitting records in all sectors, the veterinary graduates in Tripura are one of the most sufferers, as over hundreds of them are waiting for the recruitment process to begin.
With 217 sanctioned posts, the animal resource development department (ARDD) reportedly has 117 posts lying vacant, but no initiative is being taken by the government to recruit them, say vet graduates.
When EastMojo contacted some of the students, they said that after toiling for five years in the Bachelor of veterinary science and animal husbandry (BVSc) course, two years in Masters of veterinary science and animal husbandry (MVSc) and three years of PhD, studying from understanding animals to treating them, with high expectations to serve society, on completion of course the fresh graduates and post-graduates end up jobless.
“These left-out veterinarians are taking up low-paid private jobs in other states (unlike other states Tripura doesn’t have large commercial private farms, dairy industry, animal/poultry feed industry or private hospitals, where veterinarians can work) anxiety is tremendous across all, especially those from the lower economic background who saw this profession as a way to get a better livelihood,” the students said.
They also alleged that every other department is advertising for jobs. Only the veterinarians are left jobless every year, they said.
Speaking with EastMojo, Litan Reang, a 2020 graduate, said that over 140 students who have passed from two the colleges — College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry and College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Selesih in Aizawl Mizoram — in the last four years have not been recruited by the government.
“The general norm is to have at least one veterinary officer for every 5,000 animals. In Tripura, the total livestock population is 13.18 lakh. So, as per norms, we need at least 264 vets. Unfortunately, Tripura has only 100 veterinary officers working and 117 sanctioned posts are still vacant,” Reang said.
Another student, Subham Das, said that the last recruitment was initiated in 2014 and the process was completed by 2016. Since then, no new recruitment process was done even though hundreds of them have passed out over the years.
“Every year many veterinarians are passing out and it is increasing the unemployment rate every year. Many veterinary hospitals and dispensaries are lacking officers as a result animals and farmers are suffering,” Das said.
He also said that in a meeting with the ARDD minister, Santana Chakma, the delegation of unemployed veterinary graduates was assured that the process will be initiated soon.
“We have been assured that the process will be initiated but calling for recruitment in 16-20 posts, while the number of vacant posts is over hundred the demand of the unemployed youths cannot be fulfilled. We demand at least half of the vacant posts should be filled to provide some relief to the students,” Das added.
The erstwhile Left Front government had called for application in 31 sanctioned posts in 2017 and the process was also started. However, after the BJP-IPFT government came into power the recruitment process was cancelled.
Dr Sujit Saha, general secretary of Tripura Veterinary Doctors Association (TVDA), said that the department has acute shortage of veterinary officers and the demand to fill the vacant posts was placed before the government.
“We have placed the demand for recruitment of the unemployed graduates and the same was accepted by the government. We are hopeful that initiative to fill as many possible posts will be taken by the government,” Saha said.
When contacted, ARDD director Dr K Sashi Kumar said that the file for the recruitment of the veterinary officers has been forwarded to the government and action is being taken by the minister concerned.
“The decision will be taken shortly and the recruitment process can be started. Once the file is approved by the cabinet, the process will start immediately,” Kumar said.
He also said that the recruitment process is something that has to be continued once every two or three year but due to some reason the process has stopped. However, the department has now taken up the issue on priority basis.
EastMojo also tried contacting ARDD minister Santana Chakma for her reaction in this regard. However, no response was made till the filing of this report.