File photo: Biplab Kumar Deb

In a cabinet meeting on April 1, Tripura government has decided to pay Rs 35,000 to each of jobless 8882 teachers as an interim assistance in distress situation arising out due to COVID-19.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said the government would incur the liability of over Rs 31.8 crore from state ex-gratia fund to help the families.

As many as 4375 undergraduate teachers, whose jobs were terminated on March 31, were getting monthly salary of Rs 14,078. Also, 3761 graduate teachers lost their jobs on March 31 and were drawing a monthly salary of Rs 28,995 while 746 post graduate teachers were getting Rs 35,594 salary.

The council of ministers made the discussion on the crisis due to Coronavirus threat and decided to pay an immediate compensation of the amount to each of those victim teachers, Deb added.

The Crisis

Tripura education department struck down 8,882 teachers of the 10,323 teachers from its payroll following the direction of Supreme Court last year. The state government had filed an online application for urgent hearing on a petition seeking the apex court’s direction for providing an alternative employment for these teachers.

In May 2014, a division bench of high court of Tripura had terminated the job of 10,323 teachers declaring the appointments “illegal” and nullified the employment policy of the then government.

Following the judgment, the state government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the ruling but the apex court upheld the decision of the high court.

Later on, accepting state government’s argument that the education system of the state will collapse if teachers were removed in such large numbers, the Supreme Court had extended their service on ad hoc basis for a couple of times but it finally ended on March 31.

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