Congress stages walk out on PTA issue

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Shimla, Apr 4 (UNI) The opposition Congress today staged a walkout from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly expressing dissatisfaction over the reply by Education minister I.D.Dhiman on the discussion on Shanan Committee Report on PTA appointments during the previous Congress government.

As the Education minister was at the fag end of his reply, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh got up and said the Congress party was not satisfied with the reply of the minister, who had failed to address specific issues raised by the opposition members and had rather been referring to other decisions taken by the previous Congress government.

Following this, the Congress members walked out of the House.

In his reply, the Education minister said it had been proved beyond doubt that wrongs have been committed in the appointments through PTA by the previous Congress government.

He said the Shanan Committee Report had specifically pointed out that no mechanism was adopted by the previous government for these appointments and everything was done in a hush-hush manner.

''We are not against providing the teachers in schools and colleges, where vacancies have existed for long, but the system adopted by the previous government was wrong. There is nowhere a rule for grant-in-aid to the PTAs, which have existed for long and earlier used to recruit additional teachers to help out students with small contributions by the students.'' Mr Dhiman said 240 cases challenging appointments on PTA were pending in the Court and the Shanan Committee has also come out with 193 complaints. The previous government had issued telegrams hurriedly to appoint teachers on PTAs within two days, considering those who apply and there was no advertisement to inform all the qualified candidates in the state, he said.

In many institutions only one teacher was called for interview and selected, he added.

The Education Minister said it was surprising that different set of rules was followed to recruit teachers in different institutions, which was again a violation.

He said meritorious candidates were ignored while recruiting teachers through PTA, and roster for SCs, STs and OBCs was also not followed and in certain cases, the teachers were recruited on mere resolutions by PTA, without going in for interviews.

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