Why Did Calcutta High Court Cancel The Appointment Of 36,000 Teachers?
The Calcutta High Court has canceled the appointment of 36,000 primary school teachers in West Bengal, citing manipulations in the recruitment process in 2016.
The court has ordered the state government to fill the vacancies within three months. The cancellation comes in the wake of allegations of corruption in the recruitment process, which prompted a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who presided over the case, stated that the teachers can continue to work for the next four months but at a reduced salary equivalent to that of a para teacher.
The recruitment of 36,000 teachers was found to have been conducted without any aptitude test, according to a lawyer present during the hearing.
In December 2022, the high court had already indicated its intention to cancel the entire panel of candidates who had passed the Teachers’ Eligibility Test if they were found guilty.
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are investigating allegations of corruption in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff, following the orders of the Calcutta High Court.
Several individuals, including former Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee and former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education Manik Bhattacharya, have been arrested in connection with the case.
The West Bengal Primary Education Board, led by its new president Prof Goutam Paul, intends to challenge the high court’s order.
Prof Paul emphasizes that the 36,000 teachers were appointed in compliance with the guidelines of the National Council for Teacher Education and that they have undergone training via online learning modes by 2019.
The cancellation of the teacher appointments has created a significant challenge for the West Bengal government, as it now faces the task of filling these vacancies within three months while addressing the issues of corruption and malpractice in the recruitment process.