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Teacher general transfer introduced

Calcutta, March 21: The state government today introduced general transfers of teachers and non-teaching staff of state-aided schools by passing a bill in the Assembly.

In the case of general transfer, a teacher will be able to apply to the school service commission seeking a shift to a school anywhere in the state. Transfer will be granted only if there is a suitable vacancy in a school located in the applicant’s area of preference.

Earlier, teachers could only apply for mutual transfer, in which two teachers holding the same post and seniority and teaching the same subject mutually seek a swap.

As it is not easy for teachers to find a willing candidate for mutual transfer, the government passed the West Bengal School Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2013, empowering the commission to consider general transfers.

The bill will be sent to the governor for his assent.

“Nearly 60,000 teachers, mostly women, are likely to benefit from the bill,” education minister Bratya Basu said in the Assembly. Nearly 1.92 lakh teachers work in the 15,000 odd state-aided secondary schools in Bengal.

The government had earlier decided to place the bill in the December 9-13 winter session. But it could not be done because cabinet clearance had not been obtained.

A teacher or a non-teaching employee member must complete five years of service as a permanent staff member to apply for general transfer. Those who have already opted for mutual transfer will not be eligible for general transfer. The applications will have to be made in a prescribed proforma. According to the bill, the commission will give its nod to general transfers after going through the applications.

OBC reservation

The state government today passed the West Bengal State Higher Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2013, in the Assembly to reserve 17 per cent seats for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in higher education.

At present, 22 per cent seats in higher education in Bengal are reserved for Scheduled Caste students and 6 per cent for Scheduled Tribe pupils.

The OBC reservation will be followed in all institutes offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in streams such as arts, science, commerce, engineering, law, medical and teachers’ education.

Opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra of the CPM demanded that the government refer the bill to the select committee as the issue of reservation was a “sensitive” one. “There are some loopholes in the bill and the government should have passed the bill after examining it properly.”

Bills are sent to the select committee for review and recommendations.