A proposal to empanel a Sangh Parivar-affiliated institute for training school teachers and state government employees has raised a storm. The general administration department (GAD), which looks after the training of the employees, has been asked to consider appointing Bhayander-based Rambhau Mhalagi Prabodhini (RMP) for the exercise, said sources.
The move has created a flutter as the RMP website mentions chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, education minister Vinod Tawde and public works minister Chandrakant Patil, among other BJP leaders, as members of its managing committee, which raises the issue of propriety.
Tawde confirmed that a proposal had been moved. “It has been sent to GAD, headed by chief minister, after due consultations with departments such as finance and planning,” he said.
State government employees from Class 1 to Class 3 get compulsory training five times during their tenure. It is given at 43 training institutes at district and regional levels and controlled by YASHADA (Yashvantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration), an autonomous body set up by the government and governed by a team of nine IAS officers.
The state has no provision to train its employees at external institutes, to maintain secular nature of the administration. However, now the administration may have to send the employees to RMP too.
The GAD has sent the government proposal to YASHADA. “YASHADA will guide us in the matter, to check if the training of employees at RMP would be feasible. The proposal will be vetted on the basis of the modules submitted and the benefits the employees get from it,” said Bhagwan Sahai, principal secretary, GAD.
According to sources, two BJP ministers have been lobbying for empanelling RMP and have also asked the administration to make an immediate payment of Rs3.5 crore to the institution for the training already imparted to 100 school teachers. The bill followed the pursuance from Tawde’s office for immediate payment.
Officials, however, reportedly refused to pay, pointing out procedures that do not allow the payments without any formal orders of the department. “The bill has been raised for the training of about 100 teachers and employees at the RMP last month and the future courses they have designed for the future training,” said an official from the Mantralaya, adding that they were surprised at the rate RMP has charged. YASHADA and other government institutes charge in the range of Rs1,000 to Rs2,000 per employee per session.
Tawde, however, said, “The bill raised by the institution is of Rs35 lakh, which is after approval. We have also proposed the training of the MSCERT and
secondary teachers. The RMP is convenient and comparatively cheaper and hence we are keen on conducting sessions there. There is nothing more than that.”
Ravindra Sathe, executive director of RMP, denied having sent any bill to the government.
Meanwhile, a top official from the Mantralaya said it was unfortunate that the institution with political affiliation is being recommended for training teachers.
“This is nothing but a systematic attempt of inculcating saffron teachings,” he said.
Kapil Patil, a legislator representing teachers in the legislative council, also alleged that the state education department was conspiring to introduce saffron syllabus in schools.