The Bombay High Court’s decision to cancel the state’s Best-Five scheme has left the government red-faced.
This is the third time that the government has botched up junior college admissions, raising serious questions over the functioning of the school education department. The ruling Congress that has had the school education department and CM Ashok Chavan are likely to face criticism for this debacle.
The government was formed eight months ago but the state does not have a full-time education minister. Agriculture Minister Balsaheb Thorat has been holding additional charge of the school education department.
The Opposition and allies are asking why the party could not give the department an independent minister.
Thorat had earlier told Hindustan Times that this scheme has been well thought of and announced after taking suggestions from experts.
“The state government is not serious about education. This kind of chaos was never seen before and now it is a routine pre-admission event,” said Shiv Sena Legislator Subhash Desai. “We had warned the state that the scheme would not be tenable before law.”
Schemes such as 90:10 and percentile had met with similar fate. “For the last three years, Congress ministers have been successfully messing up with SSC batches. We have repeatedly asked the government to make a separate law to admit only SSC students to junior colleges,” said Vinod Tawde, BJP legislator.
“The Congress had nearly seven months to appoint an independent minister. But, they did nothing. There should have been clear understanding with the judiciary to not admit a petition so late in the day,” said a senior NCP leader.