A controversy has erupted over the transfer of teaching staff by the Higher Education Department of Rajasthan, with the opposition BJP accusing the Congress government of harassment, and the Rajasthan University and College Teacher’s Association (Rashtriya) — a teachers’ outfit subscribing to the RSS ideology — alleging “punishment postings”.
The Higher Education Department on December 31 had released transfer and deputation lists for assistant and associate professors. These lists caught the ire of some of the office-bearers of the Rajasthan University and College Teacher’s Association (RUCTA), who expressed dissatisfaction “over teachers associated with the RSS being given postings near their home districts”. “During the tenure of the previous BJP government, teachers who were members of RUCTA were deliberately posted at far off places by the then government… It (the list) is discouraging for outfits such as ours which are close to the Congress ideology,” said Vijay Kumar Ari, general secretary, RUCTA.
Following objections by the RUCTA office-bearers, on January 4, the Higher Education Department issued revised lists.
These revised lists have now drawn the criticism of teachers associated with the RUCTA (Rashtriya), which subscribes to the RSS ideology and is also affiliated to the Akhil Bhartiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh.
“The first list was issued on the basis of recommendations of local MLAs who wanted teachers to be posted at colleges with vacant posts in colleges their constituencies. The MLAs made the recommendations after feeling the need of quality teachers in institutions where there were vacant posts. What is wrong with it if some of the teachers got transferred/deputed close proximity to their home districts in colleges which had vacant posts?,” said Narayan Lal Gupta, general secretary, RUCTA (Rashtriya). Gupta accused the Congress government in the state of targeting teachers who subscribe to the RSS ideology.
In a letter to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said, “It is possible that in their personal lives, teachers or officials subscribe to a particular ideology but it is the responsibility of the government to neutrally measure them… the events which took place in the past four-five days, the role of the state government has ended up not more than being working for a teacher association. Instead of honouring capability and work, harassment has taken place.”
However, Higher Education Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati called all the allegations “absolutely baseless”. “The transfers weren’t made under anybody’s influence and neither have been the amendments. In the budget for the year 2020, 37 new colleges were opened, mostly in rural areas, where there are vacant posts. The amendments were made with the purpose of filling those vacant posts and there is no political angle to it. I have neither helped nor benefited any organisation,” Bhati told The Indian Express on Thursday. He added that the transfers were made keeping in mind the vacant posts and welfare of students and the colleges.