Lucknow — It has been almost five years since the Uttar Pradesh government announced the recruitment of 69,000 teachers in Uttar Pradesh, but thousands of candidates are yet to receive appointments owing to the faulty selection procedure and lackadaisical approach of the government. While 6,800 candidates from the OBC category wait for justice even after the government admitted to discrepancies in the recruitment process, 2,249 candidates belonging to all categories wait for their appointments even ten months after the Supreme Court’s verdict in their favor.
While students protest against the issue of a fallacious reservation policy in the 69,000 teacher recruitment, they wait for justice by protesting at the Kanshiram Eco Garden protest site in Lucknow. Another group of candidates waiting for their appointments has pitched camp nearby and has been demanding immediate joining. These candidates are beneficiaries of an increase of one mark following the review of a question that was found to be wrong.
Candidates who appeared for the exam on 06/01/2019 and were deprived of a mark due to a wrong question (question 60, Answer Sheet A) approached the double bench of the High Court on 25th August 2021. The High Court found one question to be wrong and directed the administration to appoint the students who had been erroneously pushed out of the recruitment process. The administration filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the verdict, which was dismissed by the Court on 09/11/22, upholding the 2021 judgment. The court directed the administration to facilitate the appointment of the 2,249 candidates. However, the administration has not been able to abide by the Supreme Court's judgment even after ten months.
The aggrieved candidates spoke to The Mooknayak. Durgesh Shukla, a candidate, said, “The government is not making our appointments even ten months after the Supreme Court verdict because the government officials are saying, ‘Let us do our work in our own way.’" He mentioned that the Supreme Court is the apex court of our country, and there is nowhere else we can go beyond that. Therefore, they have been sitting at the protest site. When the protest began, officials assured them of appointments within a week, but now it has been 16 days with no progress.
Shivani Sharma, who came from Moradabad to protest against the delay, said, “The Supreme Court ordered the administration to appoint us, but the administration is only giving false assurances. We have been here for the last 16 days, but no one has come to meet us. People have come from far-off districts; I have also traveled 400 kilometers from Moradabad. I want the appointment letters to be issued to us."
Suraj Verma, another candidate from Mirzapur, said, “We have been sitting here for the last 16 days, but the administration is not doing anything. They are also not increasing the 1 mark. We have been shuttling between Prayagraj and Lucknow because of the officials, but we have yet to receive justice."
Ratnesh Dubey, a differently-abled candidate, also expressed his grievance and said, “When the verdict came out last November, we were hopeful of getting the job by January. Therefore, we had foregone opportunities to work at private jobs. But now, after ten months, we see that the people whom we sent to the Assembly and made ministers are not listening to us. We want the government to either make appointments or allow us to die. As a differently-abled candidate, he is desperately looking for a job."
Before the 2,249 candidates, 6,800 candidates belonging to OBC categories are still in limbo While the 2,249 candidates from all categories eagerly await their appointments, around 6,800 candidates have been raising their voices for more than three years. Their ordeal began in 2020 when they noticed glaring discrepancies in the recruitment process. They approached the Backward Class Commission at the state and central levels, and the National Commission for OBC ordered an inquiry. The National Commission for Other Backward Castes also found discrepancies in the adopted reservation criteria. The Chief Minister ordered the redressal of grievances. In January 2022, the then Basic Education Minister, Satish Dwivedi, acknowledged the discrepancies and promised to issue the joining letters shortly.
On 13th March 2023, the Lucknow Bench of the High Court cancelled the list of 6,800 candidates and ordered a review of the recruitment for 69,000 posts. The High Court also asserted that there were discrepancies in the recruitment process. The candidates allege that the government's counsel is representing their case very casually. The aggrieved candidates gheraoed the CM's residence on 11th August but failed to meet the Chief Minister. They have intensified their agitation and are camping at the Kanshiram Eco Garden protest site.
It needs to be seen whether the government will address the grievances of all the candidates as it gears up for the elections.