Myths and Realities of Government Jobs in India | 8 Myths

In spite of the fact, Government Job is like finding a needle in a haystack, still, there is a huge demand for Government Jobs. There are several ‘Myths’ about government jobs which are responsible for this cause. 

Recently, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh government received applications from postgraduates and Ph.D. holders in response to notifications released for porters & safai karamchari jobs. The craze for getting into a government job has become so high that qualified candidates are not hesitating to apply for those jobs that don’t even require the qualification of matriculating. Now, the question is ‘What are the myths behind this craze?’

Government Job Myths vs realities

In this article, I’m going to discuss the ‘Myths’ & the ‘Realities’ about the government jobs in India.

Top 8 Myths of Government Jobs in India

Myth 1: 9-5 Job

Most people believe that government jobs to be cushy and cozy 9-5 jobs. That’s one of the biggest myths about government jobs. This used to be in 90s time. Now, if you sneak peek through the daily work hours of higher officials, it will be around 10-12 hours. Moreover, sometimes it goes beyond that if you are an IAS or IPS officer. Even in banking sector nowadays, the minimum working hours are from 10 AM to 8 PM, which might go beyond if you are in a higher position.

SocialCops performed a survey on the Earliest and Latest meetings that are held in government jobs. They got the following results:-

Earliest meeting start time: 9 am

  • First meeting with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • First meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • Update meeting with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Latest meeting start time: 12:30 am

  • Update meeting with a District Collector
  • Update call with a central ministry official (12:45 am)

Myth 2: Higher Pay & Benefits

At entry-level, government jobs pay the best salaries and surely not the lowest. For example, The ‘Department of Post’ pays a handsome salary of Rs 20K with benefits like a maternity benefit or a medical benefit, for the position of ‘Postman’ or ‘Mailman’. You don’t even need a graduate degree to qualify for these positions. 

What after few years of Job?

Salaries in government organizations are attractive only at the entry-level. As years roll, what a government employee earns along with the ‘benefits’ he enjoys, is far less than what his private counterpart gets. Below are two reasons “Why government job sucks at a higher level”?

  • A competent employee, working in a private company, can move up to the level of AVP or VP within 15 years. However, an employee in a government organization, in 15 years, may become a senior clerk or superintendent, earning just one-third of what an employee in a private organization earns. So, a job that provides attractive salary today will become a liability within 10- 15 years. Competent employees get frustrated when their merit is not recognized and duly rewarded. 
  • A career in the private sector may be tough in the initials stages, but over a period, it earns good rewards for those who are worth it. As Business Standard reported recently that the average salary of a director of a Nifty company was Rs 9 crore, whereas the average median employee salary was Rs 5.87 lakh. This may be excessive but is a reality. And when it comes to a government job, the ratio of the minimum to maximum pay in government has to be within an “acceptable” band of 1:12.

Myth 3: Permanent Hiring

Again, the days of the 90s are long gone. The government jobs are not permanent anymore. The government is creating contractual roles, based on human resource necessary for a specific project. Candidates are required to work on projects, which have a particular time duration. for example:-

  • UPSRTC had invited applications for more than a hundred contractual posts.
  • The Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society hired personnel for positions ranging from social worker to a director on a contract basis. 

Hence, not all government jobs are ‘permanent’ anymore. Even some permanent job, doesn’t be permanent for long, below is the explanation. 

Myth 4: No Firing

Another biggest myth of government Job that they don’t fire. The government is working on deliberate policies to deal with non-performers. They have started closing doors for non-performers. In fact, following instructions from Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha that called for a review of non-performing officers, the Department of Personnel and Training has already come up with detailed guidelines to deal with non-performers and officers of doubtful integrity. 

Hence, long story short, government officials with subdued work ethics, low performance and callous attitude to work shall have to let go of their jobs. This means, now, government employees not performing their duties duly, misbehaving and taking work casually can no longer hold on to their jobs.

Myth 5: No seriousness on Meetings

One of the common myths about a government job is that there are no serious meetings. Although, most officers have their staff call us one day in advance to get the details of the attendees and presentations. That helps most meetings start on time.

SocialCops performed a survey of 52 Government meetings. Below is the graphic showing the details of government meeting nowadays. 

Government meetings nowadays

The above chart shows around 94% of government meetings start on time. Whereas only 4% were an hour late & only 2% were postponed.

Myth 6: No weekend work

We all know that private jobs nowadays provides a weekend of [both Saturday & sunday]. But the things are not same with the government jobs. Many officers and elected representatives in the government use to schedule their meetings at 8 pm on Friday, 9 am on Saturday and even 4 pm on Sunday.

Another survey was performed by SocialCops on weekend meetings. The survey is based on 13-weekend meetings held by different government bodies. The graphic below shows the data on weekend meetings.

Meetings on weekend in different Government groups.

The above chart shows that 38% of the weekend meetings were held National & District government bodies. And around 23% of the weekend meetings were held by state government bodies.

Moreover, they have also accompanied an IAS officer on a field visit to interact with villagers on a weekend when the entire state was celebrating Rama Navami!

Myth 7: Only White Haired’s opinion matter

Another Myth about government job is that your opinion doesn’t matter until you get experienced & your hair turns white. Moreover, I was told in my ‘Private Job’ that creating an impact in policy requires years of patience and hard work to finally reach a position where your opinion counts enough to drive real change. But things are different at government offices nowadays. Even, if you are new they consider your opinion & participation in meetings. Below is the example proving it.

One of my friends is a government official. When he was in meeting with a senior official in a central ministry for the first time, the first thing that senior officer asked when he entered his office was, “What do you think is going wrong with our programme?” He further asked him, what do you think about the scheme? Do you think an average Indian will understand the scheme? What can we do better?” It is indeed heartening to see government officers ask us for such multi-faceted feedback on their work.

Myth 8: Respect

Every job has dignity. It doesn’t matter whether you are working for a private firm or a government firm or yourself. If you have a job then you got respect. Moreover, your respect is defined by the kind of job you are doing not by the kind of employer you are working for. So, saying government employees have more respect, doesn’t make any sense. 

Remember:- It’s never about getting the job, it’s always about getting the right job.

Best of Luck!

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