Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Orissa High Court on Tuesday rejected the merit list prepared by the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) for the recruitment of junior teachers in primary and upper primary schools across the State.

The High Court also rejected the district-wise merit list released by OSEPA and directed the authorities to prepare a fresh merit list according to the recruitment terms and guidelines.

The High Court, on January 31, had concluded the hearing on pleas alleging irregularities in the recruitment process of junior teachers and reserved its interim order.

Notably, a notification was issued on October 23, 2023, for the recruitment of around 20,000 junior teachers in Odisha. Later, some candidates moved the High Court alleging irregularities in the recruitment process.

Following an initial hearing on the petition on January 19, the Court had asked the Odisha government to put on hold the final selection process and appointment of Junior Teachers till the next hearing.

Also Read | Odisha to recruit 10,000 more schematic Junior Teachers

“For the recruitment of junior teachers, the government had formulated a policy on how the selection procedure should be. As per the policy, a district-wise merit list would be prepared and accordingly, the appointment would be finalised. A candidate’s preferred district would be considered. On that basis, a merit list of candidates who have applied for a particular district would be prepared.  And selection would be made on that basis. But what the government did is they prepared a combined list irrespective of candidates’ preferred districts. So, many candidates didn’t get their preferred districts,” said Samir Das, petitioner’s lawyer.  

“Today, the High Court’s judgement came and the merit list has been quashed,” he added. 

“We have information that the honourable High Court’s judgement is on the district preference of candidates. As far as the process of examination is concerned, the court has said nothing. After having legal opinions, we will take appropriate steps” said Anupam Shah, OSEPA Director.

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