A severe shortage of teachers is about to hit many districts in the state going by the transfer requests that are pending before the state government. Applications from 17,212 primary and secondary teachers carried forward from 2013-14 show that more than 70 per cent of them have sought transfers to be with their spouses outside their districts. And the government is trying to accommodate as many such requests as possible by asking them to apply afresh. Districts such as Bagalkot, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal, Haveri, Bellary, Chikkodi and Yadgir — where many posts are vacant — could have additional vacancies as a result of these transfers. As many as 15,057 of those who have applied have either a husband or wife in government service in another district. These transfers could not be granted last year as they exceeded the limit. While the government planned to grant them in April, the election code of conduct came in the way. “It is a complex process. If we open the transfers gate, it is a flood with drought on the other side,” said Mohammed Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction. Yadgir will be the worst affected, based on pending requests last year. Of 269 primary school teachers who have applied for transfers, 259 want to go out of the district. This means the district, which already has 1,019 vacancies, will have an additional 259 vacancies. In Koppal too, of the 203 primary school teachers who want transfers, 194 have spouses in other districts. Koppal will have 194 vacancies adding to the existing 698. “This is the problem. If a number goes out, we don’t have the same number coming in. There are districts where we have 25 per cent posts vacant,” Mohsin said. Karnataka has four divisions — Bangalore, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Mysore — and currently, only one per cent of the total cadre in each division is eligible for transfers. They are allowed for couples who want to unite, patients who need treatment, widows who want familial support, and so on.
“We have examined all requests and it is clear that transferring all of them won’t be possible. But we have proposed to increase the limit of teachers seeking inter-division transfer from one per cent to three per cent to accommodate pending transfers,” he said. The fresh transfer process will be completed by June. A teacher becomes eligible for transfer after five years of service from the time of appointment. They are eligible for subsequent transfers only after three years. “According to present rules, a teacher who seeks transfer outside the unit (district) of his recruitment loses his seniority. However, with so many couples seeking transfers this time, this rule could be relaxed,” a source said.