DHyderabad: "I am 31 years old and unemployed. As of now, my father looks after me. There is a lot of pressure on me," says Chandhra Sekhar Reddy, a DySP aspirant from Hyderabad. Chandhra has been trying for the DySP post for the last seven years. But no Group 1 notification for DySP recruitment has been issued in Telangana since 2012, before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. With the Chief Minister hinting at the possibility of a recruitment notice being issued by the end of December, Chandhra is hopeful. At the same time, he is worried because he falls short of the required height by a cm.

As per the Telangana government order, the height requirement for male DySP candidates in the state is 167.6 cm. But the UPSC prescribes a requirement of only 165 cm and more than 20 states in India follow the UPSC height criteria. With a recruitment notification coming after nine years, the number of applicants is going to be huge. Added to this is the state's height requirement for the post that's making opportunities bleak for many aspirants in the state.

The candidates also have an age bar of 28 years to apply for the post of DySP. "I am 27 and from Open Category (General). I have just one more year left to try. But now height has become a problem. I am only 165 cm tall," says Sham Sunder Reddy, another aspirant from Dilkushnagar.

What's surprising to the aspirants is that the state mandates the same height requirement for those applying for the post of constable, SI, and DySP. "Constable and SI are field-level posts whereas DySP is an office cadre post. The field-level constable might require a height of 167.6 cm but it's illogical to ask the same for a DySP officer," says Chandhra whose brother is also preparing for the same post.

"A constable has to be on the field running or chasing, so he has to be fit. But why is the state demanding the same height for a DySP officer who sits at his office and issues orders?" asks Sham.

DySP aspirants giving representation to Health Minister T Harish Rao

The aspirants also point out how despite having good knowledge, the candidates tend to miss an opportunity just because of this height requirement. They wrote letters and met many government officials in the state but no steps have been taken to address their concern. They learned that many people are not aware that such a requirement exists. For instance, when they raised this issue at the DGP office, the officers were shocked and they agreed that it's a valid point and it should be only 165 cm. "Some of the DGPs are not that tall and wouldn't be eligible if they make an attempt now," laughs Sham.

DySP apirants raising the issue to Home Minister M Mahmood Ali

They also met ministers, including health minister Harish Rao and Home minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, who said they'll look into the issue but no government notification has been issued so far. "The changed height requirement should be notified before issuing the recruitment order for the post," adds Sham.

Nimisha S Pradeep

Hailing from Palakkad, Kerala, Nimisha completed her MA in Communication (with a specialization in Print and New Media) from the University of Hyderabad. She has interned with The Hindu Metroplus, Chennai and The Sentinel, Assam. She was a fellow of the NFI Fellowship for Independent Journalists in 2021. In 2015, she attended the Jenesys Student Exchange Programme in Japan. She firmly believes in the power of words and the impact it can make on society. She looks forward to using her career in journalism to voice the issues of minorities. Her interest areas include gender, women and society. She pursues travel, photography, and music in her leisure time.

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