TIRUCHY: It’s been two months since the deadline for applying for the arachakar training programme in priest training schools (Archakar Payirchi Palli) ended. But the admission and recruitment process is yet to begin.
Earlier in 2021, the government revived all priest training schools in the State, which had not been functioning since 2008, and announced resumption of training sessions by 2022. Accordingly, the HR&CE department, through respective schools, invited applications from candidates from all communities for pursuing the one-year course. The deadline for sending applications ended on December 24, 2021.
According to a senior official at the priest training school in Tiruchy, they have received 74 applications so far, of which six are from women. “On scrutinising them, 61 have been selected for the next stage of the process; the rest were rejected as they did not adhere to the age criteria.” He added that as they are yet to receive any guidelines regarding the selection process, there is a delay in starting the training programme.
The schools attached with Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Tiruchy and Arulmigu Parthasarathy Swamy Temple in Chennai train priests in Vaishnavite tradition. Schools in Madurai, Tiruchendur, Palani, and Tiruvannamalai train the priests in Saivite tradition.
The recruitment of aagama teachers in priest training schools is also yet to start. Sources said that schools in Tiruchy have received six applications for vacant aagama teacher posts. But the interview is yet to be conducted. When contacted, PK Sekar Babu, Minister of HR&CE department, told TNIE, “The department has started the admission and recruitment process in all schools. Training will resume soon.”