class 10, 12 exams in 2021: Mamata Kolkata, Nov 11 (PTI) The West Bengal government has decided not to hold selection tests for students scheduled to write state boards' class 10 and 12 examinations next year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
These students will be allowed to appear for Madhyamik (class 10) and Uchcha-Madhyamik (class 12) exams directly, Banerjee told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
She also said that the Cabinet gave its nod to immediately initiate the recruitment process to fill up vacancies of 16,500 school teachers' posts from the 20,000 candidates who have cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) examinations.
'Students could not go to schools due to COVID-19 pandemic. The education department has taken a decision that those willing to take the 2021 Madhyamik and Uccha-Madhyamik exams will not require to clear any test. They will be allowed to sit for these (two) examinations,' she said.
Educational institutes in the state remain closed in the state since March after the pandemic struck. Though digital classes have started, many students have not been able to take part in them due to want of either smart phones or internet facility.
'We have also decided to start the recruitment process to fill up 16,500 vacancies from the 20,000 successful TET examinees. Interviews will start in December and the entire recruitment process will be completed by January. The recruitment for the rest of the candidates will be made later in phases,' she said.
Banerjee said that offline examinations for the next TET, in which around 2,50,000 candidates have applied, will be held as soon as possible.
The state Cabinet also decided to form three new battalions in the state police by January 31 next year keeping in mind the demand and sentiment of the people of Cooch Behar, Jangalmahal and Darjeeling hills, she said.
A total of 3,000 people will be recruited in the three battalions.
The chief minister expressed hope that the decision to set up the new battalions will make local people happy.
The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to handover 99 acre of land to the Bagdogra Airport authorities in north Bengal, Banerjee said.
Earlier on September 30, the chief minister had handed over 104 acre of land to the authorities of Bagdogra Airport for its expansion, renovation and upgradation.
Banerjee said that the Cabinet also decided to extend the last date for paying penalty for violation of rules by drivers of buses, taxis, trucks and auto-rickshaws till June 30 next year.
'We have received requests from several unions to waive the penalty until the COVID situation improves. So, we had extended the last date for three months. But the situation is still continuing, so we have decided to extend it till June 30, 2021, so that they can provide service to people,' she said. PTI SCH NN NN