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Fake documents: First head rolls as education minister cracks whip

dehradun Updated: Sep 16, 2017 21:11 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Arvind Pandey,fake documents

Uttarakhand education minister Arvind Pandey gave suspension orders of senior education officer on Saturday.(HT PHOTO)

A senior education officer has been suspended for “not cooperating in the probe against teachers who got jobs on fake documents” and legal action initiated against four teachers for submitting dubious papers, Uttarakhand education minister Arvind Pandey said Saturday.

“I have ordered suspension of Haridwar’s chief education officer R D Sharma for not cooperating (in the ongoing probe) and inefficiency. We are also taking appropriate legal action against the four teachers against whom a report is submitted,” Pandey told Hindustan Times.

The said four teachers are employed at Savitri Shiksha Niketan Junior High School in Harrawala, Dehradun. They had submitted documents of unrecognized universities for securing their job.

The action comes based on inputs from the special investigation team (SIT) formed to investigate into cases of teachers getting jobs based on fake documents.

Pandey held a meeting with the SIT in-charge Shweta Chaubey here.

Hindustan Times was first to report how nearly 150 teachers are under scanner for submitting fake documents. Fifty of them are in Haridwar. The SIT wrote to the Haridwar’s chief education officer several times seeking copies of the teachers’ marksheets or other educational documents. When the officer failed to submit the documents, the SIT sent a notice under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure-1973. The SIT then received a response stating that the required documents have been sought from the teachers concerned. And then, the individuals under question went missing.

Also, the SIT investigation suffered a delay as teachers’ service books were not available at the district office.

“Not maintaining service books is also an offence. It is the responsibility of the district officers to maintain database and if they are not doing it or trying to dodge the investigation then serious action would be taken against the culprits,” Pandey said.

The minister made it clear that FIR would be lodged against officers responsible for maintaining service books if they fail to produce the requisite documents.

The minister had in April ordered an SIT probe to check the documents on the basis of which more than 60,000 teachers had got government jobs. The minister suspected that many had bagged jobs on the basis of fake documents. Last year, 78 government teachers were found to have submitted fake documents, of whom 34 are now suspended. Twenty of them obtained stay orders from the Nainital high court.

The minister is now facing protests from teachers’ association following his surprise inspection of a government school in Dehradun. Pandey, however, has refused to back off saying it was his duty and responsibility to carry out such inspections. He has also directed education officers to prepare a plan to carry out more such “raids” in the coming months.

Pandey has also ordered to merge about 3000 schools where student strength was 10 or less. The students and the teachers concerned would be transferred to other schools.

Emulating Congress

State education minister Arvind Pandey Saturday said would employ 50 Bangla teachers in Udham Singh Nagar district, which has a sizeable Bengali population. The previous Harish Raawt-led Congress government had also cleared a similar order in a Cabinet but it could be never implemented. Pandey, however, is firm. “Students in US Nagar want to study Bangla and we will employ at least 50 teachers who can teach in that language,” he said.

First Published: Sep 16, 2017 21:11 IST