A woman in Assam was recently denied a job on an online government-run portal due to her surname. Priyanka Chutia had been trying to apply for a job with National Seed Corporation Limited (NSCL) via its online application portal. after repeated attempts, however, Chutia was unable to do so as the software kept rejecting her surname.
Chutia, who is a resident of Gogamukh town and holds a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, said that her application kept getting denied as the software asked her to use a proper word and not use slang in place of the surname. The student took to Facebook to express her exasperation.
"The reason (for rejection of application) is nothing but my surname and the portal keeps on saying to use ‘proper naming’ words. I feel really sad and frustrated at times explaining people that I am not using slang but it’s a community where I belong,” she wrote.
It was only after she personally wrote to NSCL about her problem that the organization took cognizance of her name and her application was accepted.
The woman, however, said that she wanted to share the incident on Facebook to raise awareness about the issue.
Chutia is a community of people in Assam and is one of the oldest indigenous communities of the state. It is pronounced "Sutiya". The fact that it wasn't accepted by the online application portal of a national agency itself points to the lack of awareness regarding the North-East od India among the rest of the country.
Responding to a query by local news portal The News Mill, however, NSCL said that the glitch had been due to a flaw in coding and that they were working on getting the problem fixed.
This is not the first time that the Chutia community has raised an issue with digital platforms not recognising their name and deleting accounts of peolpe with the surname "Chutia", thinking its the Hindi expletive by the same name.