The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday set a six-week deadline for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to grant approval to the proposal sent by the Chandigarh Administration seeking creation of new posts for government school teachers.
Thereafter, the Chandigarh Administration shall complete the process of filling up the said posts within a period of 12 weeks, the high court said in its order on Monday. Within 18 weeks, the Centre and Administration will have to clear the appointment process of over 2,000 teachers.
The directions were passed on Monday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to upliftment of education standards in Chandigarh’s government schools.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Arun Palli on Monday came down heavily on the Administration for not complying with the court’s directions with regard to holding a meeting of State Advisory Council. When asked about the meeting, UT counsel informed the Bench that the last meeting was held in November.
The Bench remarked that as per court directions, a meeting has to be held every two months. The Bench made it clear that non compliance of court directions will attract contempt of court proceedings. However, the UT counsel assured the Bench that the State Advisory Council shall meet after every two months. The directions assume significance for necessary compliance of Right to Education (RTE) Act.
For, as against the teacher pupil ratio of 1:30, mandated under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. the teacher pupil ratio in umpteen government schools is over 1:50. Also, in a related development the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday orally apprised the Bench that it has inspected nearly 50 government schools and did not find anything amiss in their infrastructure and education standards. Counsel for CBSE sought time to inspect the remaining government schools.
In a significant development, first reported by Newsline, the MHA has lifted its ban on creation of additional posts for government school teachers. Citing ‘fiscal’ problems, the MHA, in November last, had expressed its inability to allow creation of additional posts.
In November last, the Administration had sent a proposal to the MHA demanding creation of more posts for government teachers. The MHA had shot down the proposal and instead, ordered complete ban on ‘creation of plan and non-posts’ till further orders.
Lifting the ban, the Centre has now asked the Administration to furnish clarification on the details of expenditure to be incurred on creation of new posts for teachers. The official communication sent by MHA in this regard was on Monday placed on record in the high court.