Odisha Teacher Recruitment Row: High Court Halts Selection Process

Cuttack: The Odisha government’s junior teacher recruitment process continues to face hurdles. The government revealed in court that a district-wise selection list of candidates has been published, but concerns were raised about the status of the State-wide general list.

During the court hearing, the government was asked to submit an affidavit clarifying whether the State-wide general list of selected candidates had been scrapped. The petitioner’s counsel, Sameer Kumar Das, emphasized the need for the government to halt the selection from the State list and issue a new district-wise list based on candidate preferences.

Das pointed out an instance in the Balasore district where selected candidates on the government website did not choose Balasore as their preference. Instead, they were selected based on higher marks, contrary to the expected district preference criteria.

The government, however, asserted that the State list still prevails. The court’s interim order, requiring the government to pause the selection process, will remain in effect until the next hearing scheduled for January 30.

The controversy has sparked political tension, with the Congress and BJP criticizing the government’s handling of the situation. BJP Yuva Morcha president, Abhilash Panda, accused the government of engaging in a “job sale business” that has adversely affected the future of Odisha’s youth. He highlighted a pattern of recruitment scams over the past few years, stating that the sale of government jobs has become a norm in the state.

In response, BJD MP Sasmit Patra accused the BJP of spreading false information on teacher recruitment to mislead the public. He referred to clarifications from EdCIL (India) Limited, a Central PSE under the Government of India, and Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) that addressed the concerns raised. Patra criticized the BJP for sensationalizing false news and attempting to gain political mileage through misleading narratives on a sensitive issue like teacher recruitment.

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