Wednesday, July 15, 2015

UTET : BTC Shikshamitra TET Case in Court of Sudhanshu Dhuliya, Nainital High Court

UTET : BTC Shikshamitra TET Case in Court of Sudhanshu Dhuliya, Nainital High Court  


Writ Petition (S/S) No. 1507 of 2012

Mahesh Chandra & others              ...Petitioners


State of Uttarakhand and others   …Respondents

Present : Mr. Devesh Upreti, Counsel, for the petitioners.

   Mr. Paresh Tripathi, Additional Chief Standing Counsel for the State of 


Hon’ble Sudhanshu Dhulia, J. (Oral)

1. Mr. Devesh Upreti, Counsel for the petitioners. 

2. Mr. Paresh Tripathi, Additional Chief Standing Counsel for the State of Uttarakhand. 

3. Notices may go to all private respondents. Steps to be taken within two weeks.  

4. Petitioners before this Court have challenged the action of the respondents by which they have been made ineligible for appointment as teacher in primary school in government school in Uttarakhand, and pertains to district Champawat. 

5. Consequent to Right to Education (elementary education) becoming a Fundamental Right and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 being enacted subsequently, it was given to a central body known as National Council for Teacher Education (hereinafter referred to as “NCTE”) to frame guidelines for eligibility and appointment of elementary school teachers all over the country. These guidelines are contained in a notification issued by NCTE on 23.8.2010, inter alia, one of the principal requirements for a person to be appointed as a teacher in elementary school is that he/she must qualify a test known as Teacher Eligibility Test (hereinafter referred to as “TET”). NCTE while giving these guidelines had exempted only those categories of teachers from appearing in the examination known as TET where the process of appointment had started prior to the notification i.e. prior to 23.8.2010. There was no further relaxation given by the NCTE or Government of India. Apart from having a qualification of TET, another mandatory qualification is that a candidate must have a teacher training certificate which in the State of Uttarakhand is known as Basic Teaching Certificate (hereinafter referred to as “BTC”). 

6. The State of Uttarakhand has granted exemption to one set of BTC trained teachers on the grounds that the process for imparting training to such teachers started way back in the year 2005-06 and the training itself started from 26.4.2010 which is prior to the notification dated 23.8.2010. Hence, according to the Director, School Education, Government of Uttarakhand these set of teachers has been exempted to appear in TET examination, on grounds that process for appointment had started prior to 23.8.2010. Petitioners before this Court are also BTC trained teachers but they are the ones who had obtained this training not by way of a competition but by virtue of the fact that they have been working as “Shiksha Mitra” for a considerable period of time and Government had trained the senior most of such “Shiksha Mitra” and they are now BTC qualified. They have already undergone training between the same period, as the regular BTC candidate has obtained training, but whereas the regular BTC candidate has been exempted from TET, the petitioners have not been given this exemption and therefore without this exemption they are not qualified to be appointed as primary school teacher in the State of Uttarakhand,
unless they also qualify TET
. Petitioners contend that since such an exemption has already been given to other set of BTC trained persons, it is liable to be given to them as well. The petitioners claim that the action of the State is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India as the action of the respondents amounts to a hostile discrimination. 

7. Counsels appearing for the petitioners have taken these grounds relying on various correspondences between the State Authorities like letters and orders annexed as Annexure Nos. 6 and 7 to the writ petition (WPSS No. 1521 of 2012) in which the main reason for granting exemption to regular BTC trained teachers is that they had gained appointment on 26th April, 2010 i.e. prior to the notification dated 23.8.2010 of NCTE. The petitioners contend that they are also on similar footing as they too had gained BTC courses in April, 2010. Therefore they cannot be discriminated merely because they were earlier “Shiksha Mitra”. Under the notification dated 23.8.2010 of NCTE, a candidate had to qualify an examination known as TET and this was an essential qualification before he could become a teacher. The only exemption contained in clause 5 of the notification dated 23.8.2010 reads as under:-

5. Teacher appointed after the date of this Notification in certain cases: Where an appropriate Government, or local authority or a school has issued an advertisement to initiate the process of appointment of teachers prior to the date of this Notification, such appointments may be made in accordance with the NCTE (Department of Minimum Qualifications for Recruitment of Teachers in Schools) Regulations, 2001 (as amended from time to time).”


8. Prima facie, the view of this Court is that merely because the process of entrance in BTC had started prior to 23.8.2010 it would not mean that the process of appointment of teachers had started as well, but in any case if on this ground exemption has been granted to one set of BTC trained teachers, similar exemption ought to have been granted to the petitioners as well. 

9. Earlier today in a bunch of writ petitions pertaining to BTC qualified persons who wish to appear as a candidate for appointment as a primary school teacher in the State of Uttarakhand following orders were passed:

“Therefore in view of the above, this Court issues ad interim mandamus to the respondents to consider the candidature of the petitioners and all other similarly situated persons for the ongoing process of recruitment of primary school teachers in the State of Uttarakhand. It is made clear that since the mater will be heard finally, the respondents may not issue appointment letters or publish final selection list (unless they have already done so), which shall be done on the final determination of this writ petition, or any order passed therein. It is further made clear that it would be proper if the Director, School Education gives a wide publicity to this fact and invites applications from such BTC trained teachers as the present petitioners who were earlier “Shiksha Mitra”.”

10. The present petitioners are similarly situated as the ones in whose favour aforesaid orders have been passed. The grievance of the present petitioners though relates to appointment of primary school teacher in district Champawat. A statement has come in this case regarding appointment of primary school teacher from the State Counsel that pursuant to the advertisement appointments of primary school teacher have already been made in district Champawat. In case this is so in the present case, it shall not presently affect appointment of such teachers by way of interim order passed in the present or any other writ petitions but their appointments shall be subject to the final determination of the writ petition.  

11. Counter affidavit to be filed within three weeks.        

12. List this matter on 20.11.2012 in the daily cause list. 


(Sudhanshu Dhulia, J.)  




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