When a Law is made Mindlessly
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
AMENDMENT IN THE U.P. BASIC EDUCATION (TEACHERS) SERVICE RULES, 1981
The appointment of assistant teachers in Uttar Pradesh continues to rage several issues with the appointment process by the Government. The Assistant teacher recruitment examination, 2019 (ATRE) is engulfed in litigation as Shiksha Mitras have challenged the state’s decision to increase the cut off percentage to 65% and 60% from 45% to 40% for the General and reserved categories respectively. This was done by a notification dated 7 January 2019 after the exam was already conducted on 6 January 2019.
In order to speed up the process of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for all), the Central Government made a plan to overcome the shortage of teachers in primary schools with the help of 65% and 35% of the state. This scheme was also implemented in Uttar Pradesh. In order to achieve the goal of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the policymakers started the scheme of placing teachers on contract. In this, it was especially noted that the village where the school is in, the educated youth, or the girl should be appointed for the 11-month education session in the respective school through a committee constituted under the chairmanship of the District Magistrate on the proposal of the Village Education Committee. Prior to appointment, these selected contractual teachers will be trained for one month of residential training from the concerned district education and training institute. These teachers came to be known as Shiksha Mitras. To be appointed as a Shiksha Mitra, the requisite qualification was education till the intermediate level.
Earlier the Supreme Court in the State of U.P v. Anand Kumar Yadav [SLP (CIVIL) NO. 32599 OF 2015] in May 2017 held that 1,76,000 Shiksha Mitra cannot be absorbed as Assistant teachers without going through the proper selection procedure as they did not have the basic statutory qualifications to become an assistant teacher in government schools.
The Apex Court declared the rule giving them the right of absorption as ultra vires the Constitution of India. However, the Court observed that while making the appointments, the Government can give them some benefit of teaching experience since they have been teaching on a contractual basis in government schools.
After a lot of protests by Shiksha Mitra, the State Government to placate them took the observation of the Supreme Court into consideration and amended the U.P Basic Shiksha Teachers (Service) Rules 1981 vide its 20th Amendment in 2017 which was notified on 09.11.17. By way of this amendment, the government amended the Appendix appended to Rule 14 of the 1981 Rules and inserted clause 6, granting weightage to Shiksha Mitra of 2.5 marks for every year of teaching experience to a maximum of 25 marks.
This amendment though gave some relief to Shiksha Mitra but has been mindlessly brought into force without taking into consideration the rights of other factions of candidates appearing in this examination and also having teaching experience. The amendment is clearly violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India as it is discriminatory against those teachers who are working in other schools and are not given the advantage of the amendment. The government has very conveniently left out a group of candidates placed in the same situation and hurriedly made the amendment in order to satisfy the Shiksha Mitras.
If laws will be made and amended mindlessly whenever a certain section of society raises its voice without taking into consideration the social implication of the same on the other sections of our country, then the very base of our legal system is bound to collapse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aarushi Khare is an advocate at the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad. She holds an LL.M. from NALSAR, Hyderabad.
You can contact them at- https://www.linkedin.com/in/aarushi-khare-b30420182/ , or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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