Over 1.2 lakh newly recruited teachers received appointment letters in a mega event in Patna on Thursday (November 2), presided over by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav. Similar events were held in district centers, where ministers and administrative officials distributed appointment letters to over a lakh new recruits in various teaching positions.
The event was organized on a grand scale by the Bihar government in what was a clear attempt by Nitish Kumar to set the political narrative around job creation – an issue where the Narendra Modi-led Union government has scored poorly.
At the same time, the event also marked the partial fulfillment of Tejashwi Yadav’s poll promise to generate more than 10 lakh jobs.
By all accounts, it was unprecedented – no state government in independent India’s annals had given out over 1.20 lakh jobs in one day.
The newly recruited teachers include 70,545 primary school teachers, 26,089 secondary teachers and 23,702 higher secondary or plus-two teachers. As many as 57,854 women teachers constitute 48% of the total number of people recruited.
Karpoori Thakur, mentor of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, had set an example of giving jobs in one go when he was Bihar chief minister in the 1970s.
On January 26, 1979, Thakur had given jobs to 6,700 engineers in one ago by organising a camp near the Bihar secretariat.
It was a big number at that stage of history. There were only a few engineering colleges in the state. Many students had participated in the Jayaprakash Narayan (JP)-led movement that paved the way for Thakur to replace the Congress government in the state in 1977.
The Congress government had not appointed engineers for a long time, leaving a large number of engineering graduates unemployed.
Thakur had become a hero of the youth by giving them jobs. Nitish Kumar too was an engineering graduate who could have easily got a job at that time. But he was a front-running activist of the JP movement.
The Nitish Kumar government has reserved 35% seats for women in the state.
Bihar also has the highest number of women in its police forces in comparison to other states.
The event was hailed by the opposition as a major achievement of the Mahagathbandhan government, while the BJP criticized it as a publicity stunt.
Speaking at the event, Nitish Kumar took a dig at the media, saying that they ignore the good work done by his government and focus on the insignificant works of the Narendra Modi government. He also criticized the BJP for capturing the media and said that the media will be free again when the opposition comes to power.
Tejashwi Yadav said that the BJP is trying to hide its failures by criticizing the Mahagathbandhan government. He said that the Prime Minister has miserably failed on his promise of giving jobs and that the BJP is not talking about their leader’s jumlabaji (false promises) and inability to deliver goods.
The exercise to give appointment letters involved participation of the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) and the education department and took six months.
Additional secretary of the education department and professor K.K. Pathak (IAS) was also involved in the preparations for the job event.
This is the first time that the BPSC – that employs deputy collector-level officers – has recruited teachersm adopting rigorous competitive exams.
The event is seen as a major boost for the Mahagathbandhan government, which has been facing criticism from the BJP over various issues. It is also a sign of the growing popularity of Tejashwi Yadav, who is seen as a potential challenger to Narendra Modi in the 2024 general elections.