Education dept seeks clarification from EC over cleanliness drive

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 01, 2014 21:22 IST

Worried about the political mileage attached to the Swachh Bharat Mission, the state education department has written to the chief electoral officer, seeking clarity on how to conduct the campaign without violating the code of conduct.

While some schools have asked their students take part in the October 2 drive, others have decided not to.

The department had issued circulars to schools urging them to participate in the campaign. “This has become a high-voltage, oneperson programme. We wanted to know how to conduct the campaign without violating the code of conduct,” said a senior education official on condition of anonymity. The official said the schools have been instructed not to include political speeches as part of the campaign-related activities.

Harishankar Brahma, a chief election commissioner, said the campaign can be conducted as long as political parties do not use it for publicity. “Political parties should not use the campaign as a platform for their publicity,” he said, adding that those involved in election duties should not be part of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri, one of the schools that has asked students to take part in the drive, will organise speeches and competitions on cleanliness and hygiene.

CBSE schools such as Navy Children School, Colaba, and Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri, will conduct cleanliness campaigns on October 2. A letter, signed by UGC chairman Ved Prakash, which reached colleges on Tuesday reads: “I am writing to request you to launch a massive campaign on October 2. I request you to engage NCC cadets, NSS volunteers and others to carry out plantations, waste management and make campuses smoke and drug-free.” There was confusion in schools on Monday, after the education department issued a circular urging them to participate in the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2 Teachers interpreted it as instructions to cancel the Gandhi Jayanti holiday.

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