Elected representatives are paid to discuss issues relevant to the public and it is hard to find an issue more useful than education to spur development. However, of the 14 meetings of district education development committee held since the new regime took over, none of the nine MLAs and the MP was present, information procured under the RIO from the education department has shown.
Personal assistants (PAs) or Officer on special duty (OSDs) of few MLAs were present into some meetings of this committee. Absentees include local bodies minister Chuni Lal Bhagat, jail and cultural affairs minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur, state transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar, chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari, Pawan Kumar Tinu, Avinash Chander, former minister and MLA Manoranjan Kalia, Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh, Nakodar MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala.
The district education development committee is headed by deputy commissioners of the district, including additional deputy commissioner, MP, district MLAs, district education officer, district development panchayat officer and other educationists and representatives from NGOs.
The committee also reviews the activities of Sarv Shikhsa Abhiyan discusses progress of various education schemes.
A senior official with the education department said that being the representative of committee, each member including MLAs have to give suggestions or ideas to strengthen the infrastructure in the fields of education.
It was not mandatory for MPs and MLas to attend this meeting, the information also adds.
"However, it will help MLAs and MPs keep an eye on utilisation of funds provided by the state government and the central government, if they participated in such meetings," an official said.