Bihar: Row over teachers’ exam rages ahead of ‘job letter’ fair - Hindustan Times
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Bihar: Row over teachers’ exam rages ahead of ‘job letter’ fair

By, Patna
Oct 31, 2023 09:29 PM IST

On November 2, chief minister Nitish Kumar will distribute provisional appointment letters to the newly recruited teachers at a mega function at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan

Ahead of the mega show at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on November 2, when Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will distribute provisional appointment letters to the newly recruited teachers, war of words has intensified over alleged irregularities in the process, which the government has refused to acknowledge so far while terming the appointments “historic”.

A protest by teachers in Patna against the decision to withdraw domicile requirement in the teachers’ recruitment exam. (HT FILE)
A protest by teachers in Patna against the decision to withdraw domicile requirement in the teachers’ recruitment exam. (HT FILE)

In the meantime, the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC), which conducted the teachers recruitment examination (TRE), on Monday evening came out with a list of 20 candidates who have been barred from taking any BPSC exam for the next five years for failing in the document verification, biometrics mismatch and on the charges of impersonation. According to officials, the number could rise.

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To be sure, the education department has also made it clear the newly recruited teachers would not be allocated schools immediately and that they would just be given the provisional appointment letters, though teachers already in service and having also cleared the TRE would continue in their existing schools and will have an option of choice transfer after six months. “The school allotment will be done only after Chhath festival and following another scrutiny of documents and bona fides. At present, they will only be allotted districts,” said a department official.

On the other hand, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi came out with a list of candidates from Fatehpur block in Gaya, claiming that all the newly recruited teachers there are from Uttar Pradesh. He also tagged a letter of the block education officer (BEO), deputing the recruited teachers to different schools in Fatehpur till the distribution of provisional appointment letters.

Manjhi sees Phulpur angle in ‘UP bias’

“In Fatehpur of Gaya, the place of enlightenment, the government could not find aspirants from Bihar and has imported teachers to teach children. Your (Nitish Kumar’s) elder brother was better. Even in exchange for land, he gave jobs to the Biharis. You could have also sold off jobs to Biharis,” Manjhi tweeted Tuesday morning.

Manjhi, a former ally of Nitish Kumar, had earlier written to the CM and the BPSC, asking them not to distribute provisional appointment letters till a probe into the recruitment exercise was completed. He called the recruitment exercise as “money for job” scheme on the lines of “land for job” in the Railways and demanded a domicile policy to ensure that the jobs went to Bihar youths.

Manjhi also alleged that preference to UP has been given under a design and a lot of candidates are from Phulpur and surrounding areas. Phulpur is the constituency which is often speculated as the seat Nitish Kumar could contest 2024 Lok Sabha election from, though he has himself never said anything about it.

Meanwhile, the information and public relations department of the Bihar government has launched a social media campaign to counter the Opposition narrative of alleged irregularities in the selection process.

Through video clips of successful candidates and education department officials, the department has been underlining that “all is well with the teacher recruitment test (TRE) results”.

It has been announcing that only 12% successful candidates are from other states, but the Opposition has also been demanding the figures of already working teachers appointed again.

“At least 37,500 serving teachers have been reappointed, while there are around 30,000 from other states. As long as the BJP was in the government, the domicile policy was there. I urge the journalists to come out with figures of newly appointed teachers from outside in Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan, Buxar and Kaimur districts, which are adjoining UP. Bihar government is hiding the true figures. During the NDA government, preparations had been made for 1.35 lakh appointments but even half of that has not been done,” former Bihar BJP president and MP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Amid all this, the BPSC issued the notification on Friday, giving tentative schedule for next phase of examination for recruitment of more teachers for Class 6-12 and for schools run under the extremely backward class welfare department from December 7-10.

“The government is playing a cruel joke with the state’s youth. How many times it will verify the documents? It started verifying even before recommending names and now wants to continue even after giving provisional appointment letters. It is itself not sure of what it has done. BJP has been consistently demanding a probe,” said leader of Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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