News Brief

Bihar Government Cancels Teachers' Leaves Amid Protests Led By BJP Over Amended Recruitment Policy

Yathansh Joshi

Jul 13, 2023, 03:09 PM | Updated 03:09 PM IST

Protests by teaching job aspirants and the BJP against the rules have rocked the state. (Pic: Hindustan Times)
Protests by teaching job aspirants and the BJP against the rules have rocked the state. (Pic: Hindustan Times)

In response to protests by the BJP, and teaching job aspirants, against the Bihar government's amended recruitment policy, the state government has cancelled the leaves of all teachers for a week.

The Education Department has also instructed district magistrates to visit state-run schools today (Thursday, July 13) to ensure teacher attendance.

During today's session in the Bihar Assembly, two BJP MLAs were removed by marshals for raising concerns about teacher postings. A video shared on Twitter by news agency ANI shows the MLAs being escorted out of the Assembly while posters and placards were taken from other Opposition party members who stood in the well of the House.

To support the demands of aspiring teachers and MLAs, the BJP is organizing a "Vidhan Sabha march." Some BJP MLAs who remained in the House attempted to build momentum of their opposition by chanting slogans like 'raddi CM gaddi chhod' (incompetent chief minister should give up his post).

In a letter issued on Wednesday (July 12), KK Pathak, the additional chief secretary (ACS-Education), stated that the attendance of teachers in all government schools must be 100% on July 13. The letter also emphasized that strict departmental action, including suspension, should be taken against any teachers found absent during the inspection.

Further, according to the letter, permission for leave can only be obtained directly from the ACS in emergency situations. The department did not specify the reasons behind these directives in the letters.

However, the BJP has alleged that these directions were given to prevent teachers from participating in their state-wide protest against the new recruitment policy.

During the ongoing protests, security personnel resorted to using water cannons and lathi charge to disperse BJP workers protesting against the Bihar government, as reported by ANI.

The state BJP spokesperson, Nikhil Anand, has accused the Nitish Kumar government of having a dictatorial mindset. Further, Anand stated that the BJP is organizing a protest march against the new recruitment policy for teachers. The march will start at Gandhi Maidan and end at the gate of the state assembly.

Haribhushan Thakur, another BJP leader, stated that the Bihar Government had promised to provide 10 lakh jobs in their first cabinet meeting but failed to fulfill this promise. As a result, the BJP plans to be a strong opposition both in the assembly and on the streets by protesting against the government.

Notably, in a reversal of its 2020 decision, the state government has amended the Bihar State School Teachers (appointment, transfer, disciplinary action, and service condition) Rules. This amendment now allows applicants from outside Bihar to apply for the 1.67 lakh vacant positions of primary, secondary, and higher secondary teachers in Bihar.

A group of teaching job aspirants protested in Patna on July 11 against the government's decision to remove the domicile policy for hiring 1.7 lakh teachers. This decision would enable individuals from other states to participate in the hiring process.

Several teachers joined the protest as well, subsequent to which the Education Department requested district education officers to identify these teachers.

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