Patna: Bihar Chief Secretary Amir Subhani has described the state government's decision to rescind the domicile policy for recruitment of teachers in schools as a step in consonance with the Constitution and in line with the Supreme Court's observations.
The chief secretary's statement comes amid the protests against the Nitish Kumar government's controversial decision to allow those from other states to compete for teaching jobs.
"The government's decision to withdraw the domicile requirement for fresh recruitment of school teachers through the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) is constitutionally right and legally justified. Article 16 (2) of the Constitution clearly says that no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the state," Subhani said.
Therefore, the decision of the state cabinet to rescind the domicile policy for teachers' jobs has been taken according to the provisions of the Constitution, he said on Monday.
"Earlier, teachers were recruited in the state without domicile policy. Previously, 1.68 lakh teachers had been recruited in the state as per provisions of the 2012 recruitment rules. There was an opportunity for aspirants from other states to apply for such jobs.
"Out of the 1.68 lakh posts of teachers, only 3,400 candidates from outside the state were selected. In any case, 50 per cent of seats are kept reserved for different categories of aspirants and that benefit can only be availed by those who are natives of Bihar," the chief secretary said.
Explaining the reasons behind the move of the government, the chief secretary said, "Earlier, when the state government had announced that only those aspirants, who are native of Bihar, can apply for teachers' jobs, several writs were filed in courts raising the issue of violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution."
Asked about a section of teachers who are supporting job aspirants' protests against the state government's decision, the CS said, "Any sort of indiscipline will not be tolerated".
The state education department Additional Chief Secretary KK Pathak said, "Those states, which made the provision of domicile in recruitments, either withdrew it after the intervention of courts or will do it".
Notably, the Nitish Kumar cabinet had, on June 27, announced that a "no domicile" policy would be adopted for recruitment of teachers, drawing flak from the opposition BJP as well as the CPI(ML) Liberation which supports the Mahagathbandhan' government from the outside.