School uniform procurement: second tender draws a blank

  • Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 28, 2014 11:43 IST

Authorities in government schools in the city are a worried lot: 48 hours to the deadline of the second tender for procuring school uniforms, schools are yet to get the requisite bid from suppliers.

On May 13, 50% of the city’s 106 gover nment schools gover nment schools were forced to reissue tender notices after their first notices, issued last months, failed to get the mandated response.

As the deadline for the second tender approaches, HT’s random check of 6-7 schools found that the second tender also failed to garner the requisite response.

Vinod Sharma, the head of Government Model High School, Sector 34, said that no supplier has come forward. “We might have to issue third tender, if we don’t get the response in 48 hours,” he said.
Shekhar Chander, head of Government Model High School, Sector 26, and Nirmal Singh of the GMSSS-20 also gave similar responses, adding that they were still hopeful.

Meanwhile, with these schools still stuck at the tender stage, the delay in distribution in school uniform seems inevitable.

Nearly one lakh students from the tricity are eligible to receive school uniforms free-of-cost, a mandate under the Right to Education Act, 2009.

Distribution of school unifor ms were also delayed last year--while summer unif o r ms were distributed as late as October, winter uniforms were distributed only in March, almost at the close of the session. Meanwhile, ter ming the current system of procuring uniforms cumbersome, schools have called on the UT education department to revise its policy.

A school head, seeking anonymity, said that the process is a waste of both time and money.

“Till 2012, the department would make a centralised purchase of uniforms, but in Febr uary 2013, gover nment schools were directed to make their own purchases under the limited tender system.We definitely need a policy review,” said UT cadre Educationa l Employees Federation president Swarn Singh Kamboj.

The department’s policy mandates that schools must receive at least three responses for them to evaluate the bids and award the contract.

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