The Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tuesday wrote to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying the “irregularities” in recruitment of teachers in the state will “certainly hamper” the quality of education and demotivate the future generation.
The letter comes in the backdrop of an ongoing Enforcement Directorate investigation into the alleged multi-crore school job scam.
In his missive, Pradhan expressed “grave concern” over the alleged irregularities, which has landed Partha Chatterjee, who was a minister in the West Bengal Cabinet, in the custody of the ED, triggering a war of words between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
While Pradhan made no mention of Chatterjee, who has been removed as a minister and suspended from the TMC, he said that he has received a large number of representations from various teachers and teacher organisations from West Bengal regarding the issue.
“The irregularities found in the teacher recruitment scam of West Bengal will certainly hamper the quality of education and demotivate the future generation…I sincerely urge you to take necessary corrective measures to restore the confidence of the people,” Pradhan wrote.
The education minister pointed out that the process for the appointment of teachers through the State Level Selection Test (SLST) was started in 2014. “However, actual recruitment could take place only two years later in 2016,” he said, adding that the recruitment process was “compromised”.
The ED, which is looking into the money trail involved in the scam, has claimed it recovered nearly Rs 50 crore in cash along with gold from apartments linked to Arpita Mukherjee, one of Chatterjee’s close aides.
(with PTI inputs)