Examination for over 18 lakh candidates appearing for the selection process for appointment as teachers in State-run primary schools has been deferred for over two months because of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Teachers Recruitment Test (TET) that was to be held on March 30 has now been deferred till mid June, president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education Manik Bhattacharya said here on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Calcutta University had postponed its undergraduate examination beginning in April for seven weeks in view of the Lok Sabha polls. About three lakh students in over 100 colleges of the State affiliated to the university are affected by the move.

Mr. Bhattacharya said that both the Board and the State government had written to the Election Commission seeking permission for holding the examination, but they have not got any response so far.

“We are left with no option but to cancel the examination. Once the election dates are announced, the entire police force and the administration come under the purview of the Election Commission. Hence, without the Commission’s permission, the police and the district administration will not be able to help us,” he said.

The notification for holding the examination was published on February 18 while the announcement of elections was made on March 5, Mr. Bhattacharya said. 

The primary teacher recruitment process in the State has been riddled with irregularities and it was after an intervention of Calcutta High Court that the examination was scheduled for March 30.

Asked whether the decision to defer the examination would be a violation of the court's order, Mr. Bhattacharya replied, “We were ready to take the exam, but this is a situation beyond our control. This according to us will not be a contempt of court.”