Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed the Maharashtra state administration to issue notices to schools which have failed to reserve 25% seats under Right to Education Act for the economically weaker section.
Fadnavis was hearing complaints during the Lokshahi Din on Monday when he issued the directives.
For the first time, the forum was conducted through video-conferencing from offices of the district collectors across the state. Only complainants from Mumbai and Navi Mumbai were called to the chief minister’s office.
A parent from Navi Mumbai complained that the schools in his area have refused admission to his daughters. Although he wanted admission for his children in a particular school in Navi Mumbai, it was turned down and the school education department came up with other options.
When the chief minister was told that most schools do not follow the 25% quota rule under RTE Act, he asked the department to scrutinise admissions and issue notices to errant managements. He also asked the department for stricter action against schools which do not follow RTE quota rule.
Nand Kumar, principal secretary of school education, said: “We will initiate the process of scrutiny of the admissions by schools. Most of them have been following the RTE guidelines but some schools have reservations about the entry-level for admission.”
In another case, the CM directed the social justice department to refund fees of a student belonging to a reserved category. The student paid fees for two years as the department delayed in issuing caste verification certificate.
The government pays fees for professional courses for students from SC, ST and OBC categories.
Fadnavis also directed the department to issue the certificates within six months. He has also asked the department to submit him the monthly report of cases older than six months. Caste verification certificates are required for admissions in schools and colleges by students seeking scholarships.
Another complainant from Mumbai alleged corruption by Mhada officials. He said despite his legitimate claim, his flat was given to another applicant. The CM directed the officials to allot him a flat from Mhada’s master list.
The government also took up fresh cases which were lodged with Aaple Sarkar, the grievances redressal portal for online complaints. As many as 17 complaints were heard by Fadnavis in two hours. “This is for the first time in recent past that these many cases were heard by the CM,” said an officer.
Some cases need more probe
Though chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tried to take up as many as 17 fresh cases, officials later realised that the some of them did not deserve to be heard by the CM and more investigations were needed. One of the cases was for the transfer of a government employee, while another complainant requested an MIDC land in Nagpur.
“Earlier, select cases which had passed through the lower layers at the levels of district collectors and the divisional commissioners used to be presented before the CM. We took up fresh cases as an experiment but some of the choices proved to be wrong,” an official said.