In Mumbai, state schools fall under the purview of the municipal corporation until Class 4, and under the deputy director of education (under the state government) for higher levels. In some cities, schools are additionally monitored by Zilla Parishad authorities.
"There is no coordination and different officials say different things," said SC Kedia, honorary secretary of the Forum. "Schools would not like so many administrative controls. There is too much harassment."
The forum wrote to the additional chief secretary of the school education department, JS Saharia, last week with their complaints. "We feel we should be directly under the school education department," said Kedia. "They give us our no objection certificates. We are very comfortable with the department."
Schools say that the harassment from officials comes in many forms, and is usually favour-seeking at the time of admissions.
"There was a lot of interference earlier, and now it is becoming worse," said the principal of an unaided school in the city. "Maximum interference happens during admissions time, with officials and political parties seeking favours."