Recruitment of 12,000 non-teaching staff by Tripura government hangs in balance

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Agartala/New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) The Tripura government was on Wednesday put in an awkward position after the Supreme Court postponed hearing of a petition challenging the state government’s recruitment of 12,000 non-teaching personnel until October 24.

A division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit, on Wednesday postponed the hearing of the contempt petition filed by a Tripura youth to October 24.

The Supreme Court in an order on March 29 had upheld a state High Court verdict terminating the jobs of 10,323 government teachers citing some irregularities.

The Tripura government in May announced it would recruit 12,000 non-teaching staff in the education department ostensibly to “accommodate” the 10,323 teachers facing the axe after December 31 due to the Supreme Court verdict.

An unemployed youth from Tripura filed a contempt petition before the Supreme Court alleging that the state government had violated the order of the apex court by trying to re-designate the posts of sacked teachers as well as by taking the process to appoint 12,000 non-teaching employees to bypass the apex court’s order.

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Wednesday’s ruling has hit the Tripura government’s move to recruit the 12,000 non-teaching personnel.

“As the matter is sub-judice, we are unable to give offer to recruit 12,000 non-teaching staffs under the education department until the case is settled by the apex court,” Director of Secondary Education Department Uttam Kumar Chakma told IANS.

Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told the media that “After the contempt petition (filed by the youth) and the Supreme Court’s notice, we had filed an affidavit detailing the reason behind the recruitment of 12,000 non-teaching staff. But the Supreme Court insisted on a fresh affidavit and stayed issuance of any appointment till October 24,” the Minister said.

He said as per the Supreme Court’s order, the state government will not issue any offer of appointment till October 24 and the state government would file a fresh affidavit explaining the basis for appointment of non-teaching staff and why teaching experience for these posts is necessary and wait for final order of the court.

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The Minister had said: “The 10,323 government teachers who are to lose jobs after December 31 due to the apex court verdict could be eligible for the newly-created 12,000 posts.”

The newly created non-teaching posts include Academic Counsellor (1,200 posts), Student Counsellor (3,400), School Library Assistant (1,500), Hostel Warden (300) and School Assistant (5,600).

The Minister said the applicants for the post of Academic Counsellor must hold a Post Graduate degree, while for the posts of Student Counsellor, School Library Assistant, Hostel Warden, candidates must be at least Graduate, while for the remaining posts the qualification would be secondary and higher secondary degree.

Chakraborty said the newly-created 12,000 posts would not fall under the purview of Right to Education (RTE) Act and the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) guidelines as these are not teaching posts.

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The Tripura government had earlier appealed to the Central government for relaxation in the norms of RTE Act for recruiting teachers in order to fill up the posts of teachers — an issue that is turning into a political hot potato ahead of the Assembly elections early next year.

“We had sought one-time relaxation in qualifying marks and exemption of professional qualification with the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) for recruiting teachers, but the Ministry rejected our request,” Chakraborty added.

The state also faces a dearth of eligible candidates to fill up 15,436 teachers’ posts.



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