Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is being taken to a new level by the State Bank of India starting NOW. The ‘sweeping’ change aims to start cleaning up at the very roots – recruitment of staff.
The much awaited and anticipated SBI PO 2017 notification for recruitment into Probationary Officer cadre has been released. For the very first time, tucked into the fine print on Page 1, Section 1 C, under category ‘other’ on the very first page are these gems:
- Candidates with record of default in repayment of loans/credit card dues and/or against whose name adverse report of CIBIL or other external agencies are available are not eligible for appointment.
- Candidates against whom there is/are adverse report regarding character & antecedents, moral turpitude are not eligible to apply for the post.”
To put it plainly:
- If CIBIL or any other credit rating agency states that a candidate is financially untrustworthy, or
- If the character of a candidate is reported or proved to be unsuitable to moral and ethical standards set by society,
Then, such candidates are not eligible to apply.
The unstated implication is that if either of the points of disqualification is proved, even a successful candidate will not be recruited.
Who or what is CIBIL?
The Credit Information Bureau India Ltd., or TransUnion CIBIL, is India’s premier credit information and credit rating company. It has more than 2400 members made up of leading banks, non-banking and financial institutions, housing finance companies, etc.
Banks and other lenders supply information regarding loans and borrowers, credit cards and their users, etc. to CIBIL on a monthly basis. This data enables CIBIL to issue a Credit Information Report and a Credit Score: this is like a financial report card of individual and institutional borrowers.
It must be pointed out that the SBI PO 2017 has not limited itself to defaults of SBI loans and SBI credit card payments alone. All financial defaults are disqualifications.
How will SBI actually do this?
The truth is that only the powers that run SBI know how.
Of course, one way to check on candidates is to go by data provided by CIBIL. But:
- India has a booming population. More specifically, almost 12-15 lakh candidates will be applying for this selection.
- Even today so much of the market is unregulated.
- There is an absence of a compulsory Unique Identification system which can help to track down defaulters and link them to their various activities.
- India is not just vast and densely populated- it is diverse with a population that speaks variously in 22 languages.
It is not going to be easy to check databases!
So why check the data on all aspirants?
One can take this part of the notification like the Surgeon General’s warning on the back of a pack of cigarettes: as a general ‘Heads Up!’ calling the matter to attention.
In reality, the State Bank of India has to check data of only the successful candidates when it checks certificates and backgrounds as a part of its routine verification process. This is the way to ensure that only those who are not guilty of a financial or moral misdemeanour are allowed to enter the hallowed rolls of this premier Fortune 500 banking institution.
Is all this necessary given the age of most candidates?
But times have changed. Educational and personal loans and credit card usage are increasingly the reality of young graduate lives. Of course, money doesn’t grow on trees: a fact that some may not realise till they’ve plucked their resources bare.
Why has SBI come up with this new criterion now?
There is a movement the world over to bring high standards of operation and ethics into banking and finance. Simply put, bad debts/Non Performing Assets, crony lending and careless attitudes have brought not just banks but governments to the brink of ruin. It is not so very different in India.
This is a welcome move by SBI, and we hope that new recruits carry these clean standards with them as they rise to the top. We also hope that the highest work, moral and behavioural standards become a prerequisite for all jobs at all levels.
This piece of insight is brought to you by TalentSprint, where high standards are a way of life.