78 APWs from ST community regularised as forest watchers

For regularisation, the State forest service recruitment committee has screened 161 APWs from ST community, who have completed ten years of service for the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
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Representative imageFile Photo

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has announced regularisation of 78 Anti-Poaching Watchers (APWs) belonging to Scheduled Tribe (ST) community as forest watchers, across the State.

For regularisation, the State forest service recruitment committee has screened 161 APWs from ST community, who have completed ten years of service for the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Through the screening, however, the committee found 67 APWs not meeting the conditions. The circular from the department noted that 67 APWs could not be regularised due to not meeting the standards of height, chest criteria or the ability to read and write Tamil or both.

Subsequently, upon the request by the APWs to relax the eligibility conditions and the department pondering on the fact that APWs, indeed play a critical role in management of human-wildlife conflict, forest protection and conservation, thus putting their lives at risk in the line of duty; decided to relax the relevant rules and regularise 78 APWs, overall.

Of the lot, 38 APWs, fulfilled the criteria and did not require any relaxation. While 30 persons were regularised under the conditions that they will learn to read and write Tamil within a year of appointment as forest watcher. If failed to do so, the department has warned that their second and continuous increment will be withheld.

Additionally, rules were relaxed to regularise ten persons not meeting the physical aspects of the eligibility criteria. 27 APWs were not considered owing to various aspects like not producing community certificates and date of birth being absent in the certificate or expired among other reasons.

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