M A I N   N E W S

For a job in Punjab, do girls need more marks?
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
“My candidature for job of an economics teacher in the Punjab School Education Department has been rejected because I am a female,” says Ms Ashok Kumari (not her real name) of Rama Mandi in Bathinda.

“Though I aggregated 72.37 per cent in the initial scrutiny of applications, I have been eliminated from the process while boys, who aggregated 68.050 per cent or more have made it to the next round,” rues Ms Ashok Kumari.

“The reason,” she says, “is perhaps the Punjab Government wants equitable distribution of jobs among male and female candidates irrespective of merit. This is totally unconstitutional and illegal.”

The Punjab Government, which had asked the Mohali-based C-DAC to get the applications from prospective candidates registered online, came out yesterday with the first scrutiny list, prescribing qualifying percentage for interviews for different categories of teachers. The interviews are to be held from tomorrow.

The Punjab School Education Department has to appoint 431 headmasters, 651 lecturers and 57 BPEOs.

In economics, there are 30 vacancies of which 14 are for general category candidates. And Ms Ashok Kumari was one of candidates in the general category.

“Unfortunately, we are two sisters and both have been eliminated because of gender bias in the recruitment policy of the Punjab Government,” she alleges.

A careful scrutiny of the result declared by the Department of School Education of the Punjab Government in leading newspapers yesterday makes startling revelation.

In almost all categories of jobs, including those of headmasters, lecturers and teachers, female candidates who have qualified for the next round of the recruitment process have three to five per cent higher marks than their male counterparts. The only exception is in physical education where male candidates have a cutout at a slightly higher percentage.

Ms Ashok Kumari, in a letter to The Tribune, followed by a telephonic conversation, wonders how a state with a depleting female ratio can fight female foeticide.

“When you ignore your better qualified girls and prefer lesser qualified boys for the same job, what incentive is left for women professionals to be self-sufficient?” she asks.

The initial result suggests that the minimum percentage of qualifying marks for female candidates for the post of headmaster is 68.583 while for male candidates it is 63.858.

In case of lecturers for Punjabi, the qualification percentage for male and female candidates is 66.397 and 68.041, respectively.

In biology, it is 79.2 per cent for female candidates and 74.975 per cent for male candidates.

Interestingly, the difference in qualifying percentage is for all categories, including general, Scheduled Castes, ex-servicemen, backward classes, physically handicapped, freedom fighters, sportsmen and women.



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