Other States

HC stays appointment of 69,000 UP assistant basic teachers

Candidates have produced “overbearing evidence” to contend that some questions were incorrect and some ambiguous, says court

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday issued a stay on the appointment process of 69,000 assistant basic education teachers in Uttar Pradesh observing that there had been a “material error” in the evaluation.

A Lucknow Bench provided interim relief to a number of candidates who had challenged the results of the recruitment examination citing discrepancies in some objective-style questions and their answers.

Justice Alok Mathur observed that the facts of the case “clearly indicate that any reasonable person of ordinary prudence would have difficulty in either understanding the questions or understanding the answers and in either situation would be unable to point out the correct answer as per the examining authorities.”

The court stayed the May 8 notification under which the final answer key to the examination was issued till the next listing on July 12, by when the examining authority would have to file a reply.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions that had challenged the result of the Assistant Teacher Recruitment Examination 2019, dated May 13 declared by the Examination Regulatory Authority of Uttar Pradesh. The petitioners had objected to the “final answer key” issued for the examination. They had contended that while certain questions were erroneous, some answers were incorrect, some questions extremely ambiguous and a few of them debatable and argumentative with no single correct answer.

Many of the petitioners were candidates who fell short by one or a few marks. They submitted that had it not been for the discrepancies, they would have also been entitled to participate in the next round of the selection process. The counselling for the recruitment was to start on June 3.

One of the contentious objective multiple-choice questions was about the ‘originator’ of the Nath Panth cult, of which Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is himself part of. According to the answer key, the correct answer was Matsyandranath, but the petitioners contended it was Gorakhnath. Not only was there a discrepancy and ambiguity in the Hindi and English versions of the question, but in another examination for the Trained Graduate Teacher post, the same question had listed a different correct answer, Gorakhnath, while Matsyandranath was not even among the four options.

The court said the candidates had produced “overbearing evidence” to contend that some questions were incorrect, wrong answers were marked as correct or some answers were simply ambiguous. There is an imperative need for a suitable direction from the court for revaluation after seeking proper advice from a panel of experts, Justice Mathur said.

Given the “magnitude and the scale of the examination and the number of persons whose future is at stake,” the court referred the provisional answer key along with the objections to experts to be appointed by the Secretary of the University Grants Commission, New Delhi.

The court directed the Examination Regulatory Authority of Uttar Pradesh to send the provisional answer key along with the objections received from the candidates to the Secretary, UGC, within 10 days.

The Secretary, UGC, would have to appoint a panel of experts in one week.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 11:15:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-stays-appointment-of-69000-up-assistant-basic-teachers/article31736695.ece

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