Mumbai: Porters will have to learn history, maths, geography to be employed with BMC

Updated: Jan 24, 2018, 12:00 IST | Laxman Singh

BMC syllabus for Class IV candidates - porters, maids, crematorium workers - includes medieval history, Constitution, Parliament, trade and economy, arithmetic, etc

Representation picRepresentation pic

If you want to be a Class IV employee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, you've got to know about ancient Indian history, geography, politics and some arithmetic. The civic body has decided to include these subjects for its online recruitment process this year - for hiring porters, maids, and crematorium assistants - instead of testing prospective employees on the basis of their knowledge about their profession.

The exams for BMC's prospective class four employees will be held from February 15 to February 25. File pic
The exams for BMC's prospective class four employees will be held from February 15 to February 25. File pic

The civic body is hiring for 1,388 class four posts. For the same, it has received about 2.87 lakhs applications across the state. According to civic officials, this is first time BMC is taking online exams for class four employees.

100 marks for?
The syllabus for the exams might give a tough time to the aspirants. The syllabus, a copy of which is with mid-day, mentions that candidates will be tested in a 100 marks exam, from which 40 marks will be for Marathi language questions, 10 for English questions, 25 for arithmetic and logic questions and 25 marks for general knowledge.

Also read: Meet a man who earns Rs 15,000 per month only to deliver milk from Aarey to minister's house

For example, for the arithmetic and logic syllabus, the civic body has candidates to study coding and decoding of numbers and letters, simple and compound interest, the least and highest common multiple, fractions, time and distance and profit and loss calculations. Likewise, for the general knowledge syllabus, candidates should study ancient and medieval history, politics and constitution, geography and current affairs.

Illogical questions
The exams will be held from February 15 to February 25. According to civic officials, these vacancies are in the water, health, hospitals and sewage departments. The last such recruitment was done in 2009 when there were vacancies for 1,000 posts for class four employees.

Speaking to mid-day, Shashank Rao, president of the Municipal Mazdoor Union called the syllabus illogical, "It is not justified to have such kind of syllabus, as it does not have any connection with their work profile. It is unfortunate that the set syllabus is unrelated to the actual work. As per my knowledge, this time, BMC has appointed some third party agency for setting syllabus and conducting exams."

Rao added, "What is point of asking them questions related to history or arithmetic when it will be of no use for them. These employees will be hired as labourers or porters, so they should be asked questions related to the department in which they will be posted like the water, sewerage or health department."

Tough time
Activists are also surprised with the syllabus. Citizen activist Nikhil Desai from Matunga said, "Rather than asking them questions about cleanliness, hygiene, waste handling, safety gears that are related to their job, BMC wants their class four employees to know about history, geography and arithmetic. It is a good idea to have education criteria but the syllabus will give a tough time to the aspirants."

Having the exams online will not be the best thing either, feels Yuva Sena leader Abhijit Patil. He said, "The idea of having online exams will also affect the candidates. The class four aspirants do not have knowledge about computers, so along with the tough syllabus, online exams are also an injustice for them. The current employees are also not aware about computers."

BMC says
Meanwhile, Sudhir Naik, deputy municipal commissioner (general administration department) defended the choice, "It will be not as tough as it looks in the syllabus. For the exams, SSC pass candidates are eligible and the questions will be on a seventh standard level. It will include basic questions related to Maharashtra and India, like who is the President and Prime Minister. They should not go by the description of the subject. The level of the questions will be as per set criteria."

He added, "There is difference between the old BMC and the current one. If we are to pay the workers about R30,000, then why we should we not ask questions to them? Also, we cannot ask questions related to the departments, as they are not BMC employees. This can be done when we are giving internal promotions."

2.87 Lakh
Number of applications BMC has received for the posts across the state

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