Education secy used discretionary powers to declare Sept 11 holiday

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 12:35 IST

The UT administration had taken the call to close down the schools for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on September 11 owing to safety and security of the children.

Sources in the administration said UT education secretary Sarvjit Singh has the discretion to declare holidays in schools, twice in a year. Using his discretion, the education secretary declared holiday in schools on September 11 in consultation with senior officials. Sources said the education secretary has the power to declare two local holidays in case of exigency.

UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki was also informed about the decision by the UT administration. The order passed also had the signatures of the education secretary.

The closure of schools and the main cremation ground in the city remaining out of bounds for the public had triggered a debate. The PM also apologised for the inconvenience to the city residents and ordered an inquiry to fix the responsibility. The Union ministry of home affairs also sought an explanation from the UT administration, to which administration filed a reply saying the administration collectively took the decision. The final word from the ministry is yet to come

However, UT adviser Vijay Dev failed to fix the responsibility. The administration officials kept saying that the schools were closed keeping in mind the safety of children due to some inputs, but the Chandigarh Police said they never gave any such input to the administration. Referring to the closure of cremation ground, UT officials said the administration never ordered a ban or closure of the cremation ground.


Even as the UT administration is giving an excuse of safety and security of the students for closure of schools during the PM’s visit, the police officials stated that they never gave any such intelligence input. The police officials also added that the notice issued for the school holiday was not even circulated to other departments such as the police and the municipal corporation, but remained confined to the education department.

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