Siddhartha Majumdar resigned as the West Bengal School Service Commission chairman on Wednesday, a day after attending a virtual hearing in the high court in connection with alleged irregularities in the appointment of the daughter of minister Paresh Adhikary as a teacher in a government-aided school.
Majumdar had submitted before the judge that the commission lacked information about the score of Ankita Adhikary, the daughter of Bengal’s minister of state for education, in the personality test conducted by the panel, an official of the commission said.
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who is hearing the matter, had on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe into the alleged irregularity.
Majumdar, who put in his papers within four months of the appointment, told The Telegraph: “I have stepped down because of personal reasons. The new chairman is likely to take charge tomorrow.”
An order signed by a secretary in the school education department reads: “In view of resignation of Siddhartha Majumdar, chairman of West Bengal Central School Service Commission, from his post with immediate effect… and in exercise of the power conferred… the competent authority has decided that Subhra Chakrabarti, IAS, presently posted as the state project director, Samagra Shiksha Mission, will hold the charge of the chairman in addition to his present assignments.”
This newspaper sent a text message to education minister Bratya Basu asking whether Tuesday’s court proceedings had anything to do with Majundar’s resignation. No reply came till late on Wednesday.
The education department had on January 11 appointed Majumdar, an associate professor of economics at City College, Amherst Street, as chairman of the school service commission. The day before, Calcutta High Court had expressed displeasure over the role of the commission’s then chairman and wondered how he could continue in that position.
Majumdar will resume teaching at City College.
Tuesday’s proceedings at the high court followed a petition by Bobita Sarkar, who submitted that she failed to get a job though her score in the teachers’ eligibility test conducted by the school service commission in 2016 was more than Ankita’s.
It emerged that Ankita had scored 61 out of 90 in the written test. Bobita, the court was briefed, scored 77 out of 100, including 10 in the personality test.
The court sought to know from Majumdar Ankita’s score in the personality test. “The chairman checked the records and informed the court that he didn’t have any information about the minister’s daughter’s score in the personality test,” said an official of the commission.
“Even if Ankita had appeared for the personality test and obtained the full 10 marks, she could not have reached the rank shown on the merit list published by the school service commission,” the judge had said on Tuesday.
A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Wednesday declined to hear an appeal filed by minister Adhikary against Justice Gangopadhyay’s order.