HC raps Tripura on undergraduate teachers appointments
AGARTALA, FEBRUARY 8
The recruitment of 4,606 undergraduate teachers (UGTs) has come under cloud after the state government was asked by the Tripura high court to explain its selection process. Admitting a writ petition filed by 152 basic training-holding unemployed persons, a division bench comprising chief justice Deepak Gupta and Justice UB Saha directed the government to reply within six weeks.The petition accused the state government of violating the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, in its recruitment of UGTs to nearly 7,000 schools. It states that according to RTE, at least 50 per cent marks in senior secondary exam and a diploma in elementary education were mandatory for UGT aspirants. Final selection can only be made after the state conducts a Teachers Eligibility Test (TET). The petition contended that though the government’s recruitment process started before the RTE came into effect, compliance was necessary as appointments were made in 2014.
The high court questioned why the state flouted the legibility criteria set by National Council of Teachers’ Training (NETC) in selecting untrained aspirants and directed the government to issue a public notice to all 4,606 appointees, seeking replies before March 19 on why their appointments should not be cancelled.
Apart from basic-training holders, 32 others filed separate writ petitions last week, alleging violation of RTE and criticizing the government’s recruitment policy of providing 30 per cent jobs on the basis of need and the remaining on merit without conducting a written test. The HC observed that the government’s recruitment policy appeared to be extra-constitutional, stating, “The way the government selected candidates is totally unconstitutional.”
The state government clarified that the RTE was implemented in 2010 and its appointments were made in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009. It added that its criteria for selection of UGT could not be declared invalid as a result.