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Chennai: Post scam, TRB sees 4 changes at helm in 4 months

Sources alleged that the officers are worried about their reputation and seeking the transfer from the board.

Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) which had only two chairmen in six years from 2011-17, has witnessed four changes at the helm in four months following polytechnic lecturers recruitment scam.

Sources alleged that the officers are worried about their reputation and seeking the transfer from the board. “TRB chairman post is a principal secretary cadre post. But, the government is not appointing senior officers to the post and was forced to change the chairman frequently. In result, the board could not make any changes in the recruitment process even after four months of a scam in polytechnic lecturers recruitment,” sources pointed out.

It also left the teacher aspirants wondering whether the government is serious about revamping the teachers’ recruitment process and holding a fair inquiry into the recruitment scam.

In the polytechnic lecturers’ recruitment exam, around 200 candidates qualified for certificate verification with fake marks. After unearthing the scam, the TRB has cancelled the certificate verification list and published the new list with original answer scripts.

When the scam broke out the board did not have a full-time chairman. D. Jagannathan, managing director, Tamil Nadu Textbooks and Educational Services Corporation were given additional charge as TRB chairman.

Following the scam, K. Srinivasan, who is on inter-cadre deputation from Jharkhand to TN cadre, was appointed as chairman, TRB on January 4. Sources said he has initiated several steps to overhaul the recruitment process.

Mr. Srinivasan also cancelled the polytechnic lecturers’ exam conducted on September 16 last year and announced the re-exam on August 4, 2018.
Suddenly, he was posted as the managing director of SIPCOT and given full additional charge as chairman, TRB on February 19.

Then, K. Nanthakumar, state project director, SSA was transferred and posted as chairman, TRB on March 5. Now, the state government has appointed S. Jayandhi, formerly the director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary as the chairman of Teachers Recruitment Board in place of K. Nanthakumar on April 10.
“Instead of restructuring the recruitment process the government keeps changing the chairman of TRB. The government should appoint a senior IAS officer to oversee the changes and restore the public confidence in the recruitment system,” teacher aspirants said.

The frequent changes at the helm of TRB, following the recruitment scam, have raised suspicion among the teachers. R. Dhamotharan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Government Collegiate Teachers Association, said the frequent change in the helm will affect the police inquiry into the scam.

He demanded a high-level committee to inquire into the scam to bring out the real culprits. “The police arrested only persons like a cab driver related to the recruitment scam. It is impossible to think how a cab driver could get the access without the support of insiders. So, we need a fair inquiry into the scam to find out the real culprits,” he demanded.

He also doubted whether the junior officers could not handle the pressure from the top level in related to the scam. “A senior officer should be appointed as the chairman to tighten the recruitment process. All recruitment, including the assistant professors for government arts and science colleges, should be made based on the written tests,” he suggested.

A.R. Nagarajan, adviser, NET SLET Association demanded an inquiry by the central agency to find out the real culprits involved in the scam. “Until such an inquiry is over, the officials and staff members involved in the recruitment of polytechnic lecturers should not be transferred,” he said.

He further alleged that the TRB is lacking autonomy in the current set-up and there are more complaints of corruption in the recruitment board. “The government should form a new body with complete autonomy like TNPSC to recruit teachers and college professors. The TRB should be allowed only to publish the results of already conducted exams,” he urged.