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HC lifts teacher test ban with rider

Calcutta, Dec. 19: A division bench of Calcutta High Court today lifted the stay on the statewide exam to recruit primary teachers but said the jobs should go to trained candidates first.

But, according to the division bench’s order, the appointment of teachers will be considered “provisional” and approval of the appointments is subject to the final order of a trial bench.

If vacancies remain after all the trained candidates have been accommodated, the government can recruit teachers from among those who have not undergone training in primary teacher training institutes, the bench said.

The order virtually upholds the contention of the original petitioners who had complained that the government was not offering any incentive to the trained candidates until the final stage of the selection process, as prescribed by the National Council for Teachers’ Education.

On December 13, Justice Debasish Kargupta had stayed the primary teacher recruitment test and told the government to explain why it had decided not to give preference to trained candidates in the first of the three-stage selection process.

The interim stay on the education department’s October 19 notification put a question mark on the future of 55 lakh candidates who had applied for 34,000 vacancies.

The notification invited applications from both trained and untrained candidates across the state for the December 23 exam. Admit cards had already been issued.

The state primary education board had filed an appeal against the order before the division bench of Jutices Pranab Kumar Chattopadhyay and Tarun Saha.

The division bench today modified the earlier order, saying: “Since the future of so many candidates is involved in the selection process, this court should not restrain the education department from proceeding with the selection process.”

It added: “The education department will have to prepare separate merit lists for successful trained and untrained candidates. Trained teachers will get first preference in appointment. But their appointments will be provisional and approval of the appointments is subject to the final order by Justice Kargupta.”

Justice Kargupta has decided to hear the case in detail in January.