After a bagfull of question papers went missing from a Hooghly-bound bus late Thursday, the state government has deferred the primary Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) examination for recruitment of teachers to October 4.
The decision was taken during an emergency meeting convened by state education minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday where he said the postal department was to be blamed for the missing question papers.
“How the papers went missing is not known but to ensure transparency, we have been compelled to reschedule the test. It will be held at the same centres as earlier. We have asked the Primary Education Board to start legal action against the postal department for the negligence,” Chatterjee said.
More than 23 lakh aspirants were scheduled to appear for the test on August 30 in over 500 centres competing for 30,000 posts.
Countering Chatterjee’s allegation, Arundhati Ghosh, chief post master general of the West Bengal circle, said other than the two postal department officials, there were two armed police personnel. “What were the police doing at that time? Why would the postal department shoulder the blame alone?” she said.
One of the bags with question papers had allegedly fallen out of the bus between Dankuni and Bali area. The rear window of the bus was discovered to be broken and the vehicle was brought back to the Primary Education Board office at Salt Lake.
Opposition parties were quick to latch on to the opportunity to slam the Mamata government. Tagging it as part of a scam bigger than Vyapam, Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra, said, “The question papers were not missing. They had been moved to be sold to aspirants. It is part of a big racket.”
Demanding the immediate resignation of Chatterjee, state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury said, “In days to come, the TET scam would be unearthed to be as big as the Vyapam scam in magnitude. There isn’t enough teachers’ jobs as is claimed so this would be a dangling lollypop to aspirants and the date would continue to be postponed. I have serious doubt about the efficiency of Partha Chatterjee as the education minister.”
State BJP president Rahul Sinha demanded a CBI probe into the TET examination controversy.