Meghalaya Rural Bank Officers Association has written an open letter to BJP MP, Rajiv Pratap Rudy on the need to appoint locals who are proficient in local language, and questioned the ‘controversial’ amendment of the language proficiency clause by the Union ministry of finance.
Earlier, the Association had also sent a petition to Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and stated that to be proficient in local language one has to read the language up to standard-VIII or above, in Boards of education or schools recognized by the government.
Even for a person to be proficient in speaking the local language, one should have read the language for a minimum of 10 years, that is, two years for pre-school, and eight years class-I to VIII, the Association said.
“On what basis shall a non-local language speaking person be proficient in the local language within a period of six months? This is next to the impossible, and is an absurd idea of one’s acquiring proficiency in any language,” Meghalaya Rural Bank Officers Association, general secretary, Michael L’Chyne said.
Referring to Rudy who raised the issue of posting of qualified youth from the Indian heartland in Meghalaya Rural Bank, in Parliament during the Zero Hour on August 1, Chyne said, “We are perturbed that your honour had not realized that the crux of the matter is not that the authorities concerned are arbitrarily denying the posting. But it is the flawed appointment rules amended by the Ministry of Finance whereby one of the essential qualifications, that proficiency in local language was over-diluted, after its existence for over 40 years, since the Regional Rural Bank Act, 1976, was passed by Parliament.”
Chyne who is also the joint general secretary of the All India Regional Rural Bank Officers Federation also urged the BJP MP to ponder, since Regional Rural Banks were established through Act of the Indian Parliament, to cater to the poor, illiterate, uneducated and impoverished section of a specific region or state of the country.
“That is why the local language proficiency clause in the appointment rules was, perhaps, made as one of the essential qualifications. Had the then law-makers intended that Regional Rural Banks are to cater on an All India basis, I think they would not have enacted the Regional Rural Bank Act; and instead, perhaps, they would have named the Act as Rural Bank of India Act, and would not have stipulated proficiency in local language as one of the essential qualifications.”
He also alleged that the controversial amendment of the language proficiency clause, by inserting ‘un-thoughtful and ridiculous’ sub-clauses, has given rise to the current imbroglio.
Stating that the synonyms of the word ‘proficiency’ are skill, ability, expertise, knowhow and adeptness, besides its other meanings, Chyne questioned Rudy as to how he would justify that a non-speaker of a local language would attain proficiency in the same within a period of six months, when it takes, as per provision in the Appointment Rules, ten years, for a local language speaker to reach the same level.
Earlier Rudy spoke in Parliamen that, ‘In India, people from different sates work in other states under the all India services and no state can stop this’.
Chyne however said, the situation as stated by the BJP MP in the floor of the Parliament is different from the current matter of appointment in Rural Bank, since one of the essential qualifications for appointment is ‘proficiency in local language’, which perhaps is not there in any other All India Services.