These inferences are drawn from a written reply by Union women and child development minister Smriti Irani to a question asked by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
Rahul Gandhi, whom Smriti Irani had defeated from Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had asked several written questions. One of them was whether a significant number of posts of Child Development Project Officers (CDPO) and Anganwadi Lady Supervisors were lying vacant across the country.
Smriti Irani replied that from time to time, the states and Union Territories (UTs) were advised to fill the sanctioned positions of staff which were lying vacant for effective implementation of the scheme. “Further, directions and advisories have been sent to the states and UTs to recruit the personnel on contract basis till such time the vacancies are filled on a regular basis.”
As per the details furnished by the minister, UP has the maximum sanctioned posts of CDPOs. They stand at 897. Out of these, the state has filled 383 while the remaining 514 (more than half) are lying vacant.
Incidentally, Smriti Irani is an MP from Amethi which is in UP. The state will face assembly election early next year.
Out of the 544 sanctioned posts of CDPOs, 137 are lying vacant in Bihar. Among some others, out of 553 posts in Maharashtra, 264 are lying vacant; out of 576 posts in West Bengal, 193 are vacant; out of 434 posts in Tamil Nadu, 151 are vacant; out of 336 posts in Gujarat, 70 are vacant; and out of 304 posts in Rajasthan, 161 are vacant.
The states and UTs which have filled all the sanctioned posts of CDPOs in their states are MP (out of 453 posts), Andhra Pradesh (257), Telangana (149), Arunachal Pradesh (98), Goa (11), Manipur (43), Mizoram (27), Nagaland (60), Sikkim (13), Chandigarh (3) and Puducherry (5).
The record of UP is the poorest in filling vacancies for supervisors as well. Out of the 6718 sanctioned posts, the state has failed to fill a whopping 3815 posts of supervisors. This is again more than half of the number of the sanctioned posts.
Among the other states and UTs, the record of West Bengal is also undesirable. Out of the 4779 sanctioned posts of supervisors, 3433 are lying vacant in the state.
Of the others, 2135 out of 4316 sanctioned posts of supervisors are lying vacant in Bihar; and 1119 out of 3899 sanctioned posts are lying vacant in Maharashtra.
In an interesting case, MP has recruited 22 supervisors more than the sanctioned posts. Though 3379 posts were sanctioned to the state, it has recruited 3401 supervisors.
The states and UTs which have filled all the posts of anganwadi supervisors are Arunachal Pradesh (249), Meghalaya (185), Mizoram (90), Nagaland (159) and Sikkim (52).