The Teachers’ Transfer Policy, Haryana (2016): A Critical Evaluation

Published date01 June 2022
Date01 June 2022
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/00195561221080114
Subject MatterArticles
The Teachers’
Transfer Policy,
Haryana (2016): A
Critical Evaluation
Arushi Sharan1, Naman Jain1, Prachi Vashistha1 and
Pulin Singh1
Abstract
The Teachers’ Transfer Policy, 2016, for teachers serving in government schools
across Haryana was started with the explicit goal of improving job satisfaction for
teachers. It represented a major reform in transfer of teachers in public schools
across the state, as prior to this, transfers were mired in political hurdles and
corruption. This study adopts a mixed-methods approach to assess teachers’
satisfaction with the policy and explores perceptions across the population on
whether it affects their work satisfaction too. The study finds that teachers expe-
rience the implementation of the policy in a more nuanced way than the officials.
It also finds that they exhibit a high level of satisfaction with the policy, but that
it is not uniformly distributed. Rather, satisfaction varies by age and preference
for allotments. Work satisfaction has been only marginally affected by the policy.
Keywords
Teachers’ transfers, job satisfaction, public administration, Haryana governance
Introduction
The quality of education that is provided in schools is determined not only by
factors such as school infrastructure and curriculum but also by practices that
govern all those responsible for and involved in the delivery of education to
students (Lewis & Pettersson, 2009). The effective administration of these
employees is arguably the steel frame that sustains the creation and functioning
of the larger system of education. This is especially true in the context of public
Article
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
68(2) 202–218, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
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DOI: 10.1177/00195561221080114
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1 Chief Minister’s Good Governance Associates Programme, Ashoka University, Haryana, India.
Corresponding author:
Arushi Sharan, DPhil in International Development Candidate, University of Oxford, Oxford
OX2 6UD, UK.
E-mail: arushisharan.1@gmail.com
Sharan et al. 203
education wherein a very large numbers of persons are employed by the educa-
tion department of a state.1 In this context, the Teachers’ Transfer Policy (2016)
initiated in Haryana is crucial, as it seeks to reform a persistent problem that
was plaguing the educational administration of the state—the politicisation of
transfers of teachers across government schools.
This article studies the implementation of this policy to determine teachers’
satisfaction with it, as it is a novel initiative in public administration of Haryana. It
further aims to identify if the policy has affected their job satisfaction. It finds that
though there is a high level of satisfaction with the policy overall, the implementa-
tion of the policy has been experienced/perceived differently by different stake-
holders. With respect to teachers, satisfaction with the policy is not uniformly
distributed, nor does it significantly affect their job satisfaction.
This article begins by understanding the vision and central tenets of the
Teachers’ Transfer Policy (2016), and the transfer system that preceded it. The
second section explores the literature pertaining to the study, followed by a section
that details the research methodology that was followed. The fourth section pre-
sents the findings and analysis of the research. The fifth section provides a few
suggestions for improved implementation of the policy, followed by a concluding
section.
Teachers’ Transfer Policy (2016)
The system of transferring teachers prior to this policy was offline and manual.
The preceding policy on the basis of which the education department used to for-
mally conduct transfers was the ‘Policy to Regulate Transfers for the year
2010–2011’.2
As per this policy, any employee who had completed a minimum of three years
at a particular posting was eligible to apply for a transfer against a vacancy. It
listed that the ‘normal tenure’ of a teacher at a particular posting would be five
years. Teachers were permitted to indicate preferences for only three districts and
merit criteria for deciding postings was not explicitly stated.
This policy also specified that teachers could be transferred at any point in
time on ‘administrative grounds’, after seeking prior permissions from the state
government. These grounds were the following:
1. Any specific complaint received by MPs/MLAs/Chairman/M.C./Sarpanch/
Gram Panchayat against an employee.
2. A teacher whose performance has been rated as poor or who has delivered
a performance that is 15% below the Board results.
3. Failure to comply with directions issued by the Directorate pertaining to
maintenance of academic records, or other instructions.
This policy left ample scope for arbitrary interventions, especially through the
provision of transfers on ‘administrative grounds’. There was also substantial
involvement of the state government in the transfer process; there were frequent

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