Bihar to appoint 42,000 teachers ahead of new academic session
The recruitment drive will begin on February 23 and document verification has been made compulsory to avail salaries
PATNA: The Bihar government is all set to begin the distribution of recruitment letters to 42,000 teachers, shortlisted through panchayati raj and urban civic bodies, starting on February 23 after three rounds of counselling.
In view of the new academic session commencing from April 1, the state government has decided to not wait till the verification of documents, as decided earlier in the wake of submission of fake certificates.
Education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said that the letters will be distributed by recruitment agencies on the submission of affidavits by candidates whose document verification could not be completed due to various reasons, including ongoing board exams, certificates of institutions from other states and Covid-19 disruptions.
The affidavit categorically states that all documents are bona fide and there is no conviction in any criminal case, failing which the appointment will automatically become void.
“Those candidates whose documents have been verified will start getting their salary immediately, while others with pending document verification will be given joining letters, but salary payment will start only after the verification is complete,” the minister said, adding that 95 per cent of the CTET (central teacher eligibility test)/BETET (Bihar elementary teacher eligibility test) certificates had been verified, while others are in process.
The state education department is treading cautiously as despite repeated warnings, 562 candidates were found to have submitted forged CTET/BETET certificates.
“I have asked the district authorities to initiate legal action against them,” Choudhary said.
The recruitment drive for school teachers through panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies between 2006 and 2015 had ended up in the Patna high court following allegations of forged documents by a large number of candidates; the probe is on for nearly seven years now. Thousands of teachers had also resigned under the high court’s amnesty scheme.
The high court, which ordered a vigilance probe into the appointment of teachers in 2015, expressed displeasure over the slow pace of investigation due to more than 90,000 missing folders. Following this, the department asked teachers to upload scanned copies of their certificates on the specified portal, but even that process has been slow. The department has now stated that those not uploading the documents will be assumed ‘illegal appointees’ and removed.
While the department has imposed stricter guidelines this time, it has struggled to find enough suitable candidates as per the reservation roster. It managed to get only 42,000 suitable candidates against 90,762 vacancies. The response for science and mathematics was also reportedly low.
Moreover, the department organised counselling at all 8,500-odd recruitment agencies on the same date and time to avoid duplication.
“Earlier, the same candidate used to find their name in 4-5 recruiting agencies and they ultimately converged at one. This time, the candidate can appear at only one place. That has also contributed to fewer number of candidates. But now, we will add all these vacancies with the seventh round of recruitment for secondary and higher secondary schools, which will start soon after the completion of the sixth round,” the minister said.
The state government had in 2013 decided to open a higher secondary school in every panchayat. Bihar has 8,387 panchayats, and the government has opened 6,421 higher secondary schools in panchayats that had none, some by upgrading existing middle schools. The number of higher secondary schools in the state now stands at 9,360.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar earlier this month directed the education department to handle the requirement drive and schooling infrastructure in a phased manner so that students could complete higher secondary education within their panchayat itself.