Protesting candidates demand justice after flouting of reservation rules in UP teacher recruitment

Candidates cry foul as Court cancels 6,800 candidate list prepared by the government. The Court has ordered a review of the recruitment of 69,000 teachers.
Protesting candidates demand justice after flouting of reservation rules in UP teacher recruitment

Lucknow: The single bench judgment of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court directed the state government to review the final list issued on June 1, 2020, within the next three months after fixing the reservation properly. The single-judge bench judgment of Justice Om Prakash canceled the appointment of 6,800 other teachers, claiming that the authorities committed several illegalities in fixing the quota in the Assistant Teachers Recruitment Examination (ATRE)-2019.

The timeline of the developments in the 69,000 Teachers Recruitment is as follows:

December 1, 2018: Recruitment of 69,000 teachers announced in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

December 5, 2018: Notification issued for the recruitment of Assistant Teachers.

January 6, 2019: Examination held for the recruitment.

January 7, 2019: A minimum cut-off was announced, which was 65% or 97/150 for General and 60% or 90/150 for SC/ST and the OBC, respectively.

May 12, 2020: Result declared, students protest against the recruitment process as discrepancies observed in the reservation criteria.

July 2020: Candidates approach OBC commission at State and National levels; the commission orders an inquiry.

April 29, 2021: National Commission for Other Backward Caste finds discrepancies in the reservation criteria adopted; CM takes cognizance and orders redressal of grievances.

January 5, 2022: The list of 6,800 candidates released; the then Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi accepts the discrepancies and promises to issue the joining letter shortly.

February 2022: Code of Conduct comes into effect, hampering the process of recruitment.

March 13, 2023: Lucknow Bench of the High Court cancels the list of 6,800 candidates and orders a review of the recruitment of 69,000 posts.

Inconsistencies in the observation of ATRE.

Amrendra Singh Patel, one of the students leading the protest, said, “We found that against the 18,500 seats, which were supposed to get, we got only 2,637 seats, and after that, we approached the National OBC Commission.” He added that the court has considered ATRE as part of the selection procedure and said that the candidates are availing the benefit of reservation twice, whereas the fact is that the government has said in the High Court and the Supreme Court in the case of Shiksha Mitras that it is only an Eligibility Test and not a part of the selection procedure.

Reservation Scam because of caste biases

Affected candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC are holding fort at Kanshiram Eco Garden. One such candidate Kanchan Shakya from Jhansi said that “There has been a Reservation Scam with us because we are OBC and SC. After we protested and suffered lathi blows, Yogi Adityanath assured us that justice will be delivered to us, but now the list of 6,800 candidates has been scrapped. Two of our fellow candidates have committed suicides, but the ministers don’t come to meet us because we are OBC and SC. She added that just before the elections on January 5, 2022, the government gave an assurance with the 6,800 lists, but it proved to be an election stunt.

Weak advocacy by govt

Satish Gupta from Barabanki , raises a valid point regarding the weak advocacy from the government's side in this case. Despite revisiting the list and preparing the final list of 6,800 candidates, the government was unable to defend it in court, resulting in the cancellation of the list. Gupta suggests that the government should proceed with the Document Verification (DV) process and issue joining letters to the affected candidates to ensure that they are not deprived of their rightful employment opportunities. It remains to be seen how the government will respond to these demands and how they will proceed with the recruitment process moving forward.

Ashish Kumar, another protesting candidate, said, "The single judge bench of Om Prakash Shukla has considered ATRE to be a part of the selection procedure, whereas the double bench of the High Court and the Supreme Court have not considered it to be a part of the selection. He has, in a way, challenged the Basic Education Act of 1994. We want the Yogi government to go to the double bench and get justice for the OBC and the SCs."

It is clear that reservation rules were flouted in the recruitment of 69,000 teachers, and the government had accepted it. The Yogi government should ensure that there is no injustice with the 6,800 candidates who were deprived of their right, and now their future remains shrouded in mystery.

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