A notification is a message, email, icon, or any other symbol that appears when an application wants you to pay attention. It is a way to let you know that something new has happened, so you do not miss anything that might be worth your attention. The importance of such notification or a simple reminder could be a life-changer for many with all the overwhelming amount of work coming through the funnel in our daily lives. By the same token, thousands of applicants, seeking jobs in government sectors, are suffering in silence for missing out on the opportunity of financial and career gain just because of the lack of a simple text or email notification about the progress of the application.
A government job in Bangladesh is perceived as nothing less than a golden goose. As a result, thousands of applicants stumble over fighting for fifty or even fewer vacancies in a particular sector. The job circulars are being notified with extensive publicity, through daily newspapers, job-seeking websites, professional profiles such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and so on. The application process is also convenient and accessible because of the availability of the internet, since everything is now done online. This is definitely a good thing.
However, the inconvenience appears when someone wants to check the progress of one's successfully submitted application, which has been done at the expense of a fair amount of Tk400 to Tk500, depending on the type of government jobs applied for. The applicants are required to visit the website every often to keep track of their submitted application. They have to regularly check whether they have been selected or whether they have made it to the next stage or whether they have been offered a job.
Now, many may argue that if the applicants are not determined enough to self-track on a regular basis, then probably they do not deserve the job in the first place. However, I do not personally find this argument logical or even realistic. The job-seekers do not apply in one particular sector or institution. Naturally, they keep applying in every place they think themselves eligible for. It is to be noted that the first step of application requires creating a user ID and password, and sometimes pin codes are also provided to the applicants to access that specific portal.
Therefore, is it even pragmatic to regularly visit those job portals and access it with different pin codes just for the sake of knowing one simple status update? That is also in the rush of our daily lives? In fact, what about those applicants who live in rural areas and probably do not have better access to the internet like those living in urban areas?
Hence, a simple text or email notification could avert the possibility of missing out on the important updates even for that one particular applicant. This is also consistent with the vision of creating 'Digital Bangladesh by 2021', where one of its mission is to become a globally integrated economic and commercial hub by availing the proper use of internet and technology in implementing the promises in education, health, job placement and poverty reduction.
The philosophy behind this, among others, was to ensure the delivery of government services to the citizens of Bangladesh through maximum use of technology. But clearly, this has not been the case. Despite paying a good amount of money at the very initial stage of the application process, all government job applicants have to face these easily avoidable difficulties.
Look at the private sectors, who are completely in touch with each and every applicant via email or text message. They are careful so that there arises no scope of missing out on new windows for the applicants. The benefit is vice-versa.
Thus, in order to uphold the motto of the government in creating 'Digital Bangladesh' and to keep this echo of thousands of minds of the future generation, the government should facilitate this simple yet effective step of notifying the applicants. The respective examination authorities should keep the applicants updated on the examination date or at least send notification as a reminder to check their respective portals either through the email or text messages. This would barely increase the costs compared to the application fees already taken. And, I am sure that the applicants would not mind paying this additional small sum at the cost of receiving this benefit.
Md Mahmudul Islam Shakil an apprentice lawyer and chief coordinator at 'Governance Challenge'.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.