Telangana: Mallaiah Battu’s appointment as Samagra Shiksha SPD sparks controversy

Sources said that the controversy that has erupted may affect the rollout of the programme.
Mallaiah Battu
Mallaiah BattuPhoto | X - @BattuMallaiah

HYDERABAD: The state government is set to roll out Amma Adarsha Pathasala committees before schools reopen across the state on June 12.

Through these committees, the government aims to provide good infrastructure along with quality education in government schools.

These panels will be entrusted with several responsibilities, including stitching of uniforms for students, providing mid-day meals, supervising the provision of basic amenities, and overall management of the school.

However, the state government has found itself in a spot of bother ahead of the rollout. Social media posts and some student organisations are pointing an accusing finger at the government over the appointment of Mallaiah Battu as the State Project Director (SPD) of Samagra Shiksha. They alleged that Principal Secretary (Education) Burra Venkatesham was behind the move.

A Government Order issued by Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari on March 13 placed Battu, who was awaiting posting, in full additional charge of the post of SPD. Incidentally, the schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was announced on March 16.

Sources said that the controversy that has erupted may affect the rollout of the programme.

The allegations acquire significance considering that the programme is a prestigious one for the state government and that the Education portfolio is handled by Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy himself. Reports claim that during his stint as Additional Director in the BC Welfare department, Battu was sidelined following allegations of corruption and alleged irregularities in recruitment.

Reports point out that the post of SPD should be held by senior IAS officers, whereas Battu is a Group 1 officer.

Speaking to TNIE on condition of anonymity, a Telangana State United Teachers Federation (TSUTF) member said that the Group 1 officer rank is not a hurdle for appointment to the post.

However, some reports also suggest that there is no Central government sanction for the SPD post since the state bifurcation in 2014.

Attempts by TNIE to reach the chief secretary and the Principal Secretary (Education) went unanswered.

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