Patna, Dec 26, 2023, 05:45 PM IST: In a landmark decision, the state of Bihar has approved government employee status for approximately 3.5 lakh contractual teachers employed across various government schools in the region. The announcement was made following a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
According to S Siddharth, Additional Chief Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat), these contractual teachers will be designated as ‘exclusive teachers’ with government employee status once the state government issues an official notification. The proposal, put forth by the state Education department, received approval during the cabinet meeting.
To maintain their government employee status, these ‘exclusive teachers’ will be required to pass mandatory ‘competency examinations.’ Siddharth clarified that the decision on the agency responsible for conducting these examinations will be determined shortly. Candidates will have three opportunities to clear the tests, and those who do not succeed will face a decision by the Bihar government at a later stage.
As for their salary structure, Siddharth mentioned that it will remain unchanged for now but will undergo revision in accordance with the guidelines established by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) following the successful completion of the competency tests.
The timing of this decision is noteworthy, coming just months before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May 2024. Bihar, with its 40 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, holds significant political importance. The ruling Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in the state, consisting of JD(U), RJD, Congress, and Left parties, is part of the opposition I.N.D.I.A bloc, set to challenge the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP.
The decision to grant government employee status to contractual teachers may have far-reaching implications on the political landscape of Bihar, and its impact on the upcoming elections is being closely observed. Stay tuned for further updates on this significant development.