Candidates who passed the Pre-Teacher Education Test (PTET) protesting at Salt Lake in Kolkata on October 20, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI
West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu on Monday made it clear that the State government will not provide jobs to every job-seeker who is protesting against the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam.
“It cannot happen that everyone protesting [against the State government] will be given a job. There is no connection between protests and jobs. Appointments are given on merit,” Mr. Basu said.
Speaking to a private television news channel, the Minister said that all those who passed the JEE examination did not land in engineering colleges nor all those who passed UGC-NET got jobs as teachers in colleges.
Mr. Basu said there was “negativity” against the State government, and it was being portrayed as if protesters were right, the Opposition parties were right, the judiciary was of course right and the State government was at fault .The Minister expressed hope that soon the imbroglio of the teacher’s recruitment would be solved at the intervention of the Calcutta High Court.
The remarks by the Minister come at a time when hundreds of protesters are holding demonstrations every day over the alleged illegalities in the recruitment process and are demanding jobs in State-run schools as teachers and non-teaching staff. “Those who are deserving candidates are sitting in protests and some others, by paying money and manipulating the recruitment process, have got jobs,” said a job-seeker protesting at Esplanade against the Group C and Group D recruitment scam.
The situation turned volatile in the city’s Murshidabad district on Monday, with supporters of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) , the youth wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), clashing with the police during their agitation. The DYFI supporters in the district have been protesting against the death of a youth, allegedly by suicide, after he failed to get a job as schoolteacher despite paying money to local touts.
Leaders of the Opposition parties – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left – objected to the remarks made by the Education Minister. State BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said none of the protesters was saying that all of them needed jobs, but the State government should provide the correct merit list and also explain why it was tampered with.
CPI(M) State Committee member Sujan Chakraborty said it was the State government’s responsibility to give jobs to deserving people and it had failed to do so. “The Minister should realise that the entire Education Department is in jail for irregularities in the recruitment process,” he said.
Meanwhile, a city court rejected the bail petition of former Minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday and remanded him in judicial custody till November 14. Mr. Chatterjee was arrested in the recruitment scam by the Enforcement Directorate on July 23 after crores of rupees were recovered from the residence of his aide Arpita Mukherjee.
(Those in distress can reach suicide prevention helplines – Kolkata – at 033-2463740, 1033-24637432)
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