Punjab’s second Sainik School stuck in red tapeUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 21:03 IST
Chandigarh Punjab’s second Sainik School at Gurdaspur is stuck in red tape despite the availability of land and site survey.
The new Sainik School at Dalla Gorian village of Gurdaspur district, which was proposed by the state government in December 2009, is getting delayed due to a logjam between the Union ministry of defence and the state government over completion of paperwork for the Sainik School at Kapurthala.
The survey of the 40-acre site was carried out by the central ministry in June 2017 after it received a proposal from the present government. The Sainik School Society, the nodal organisation under the defence ministry for establishing and managing these prestigious schools across the country, had received the proposal from the state government in April 2017, according to information provided by the society under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
It further said the matter is under consideration and yet to be finalised.
“The site has been found suitable for opening the school with student strength of 250, but there has been no progress in the past three years. The state government and the ministry are stuck on signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for Kapurthala Sainik School,” said two officials familiar with the matter.
Sainik Schools are established on the specific request of the state government. The MoA is to be signed between the state government and the defence ministry on their roles and responsibilities, including financial support. The executive committee of the Sainik School Society had in 2017 decided not to open any new school in states where the agreement for the existing schools are pending.
“As the MoA for the Sainik School at Kapurthala is pending, there has been no progress on the second school. The file is pending with the finance department for approval for more than one year,” one of the two officials said who did not want to identified.
The Punjab government had agreed to sign the MoA with the defence ministry in 1996-97, but nothing happened. As per the funding pattern, the state government has to bear the entire capital expenditure on land, buildings, furniture and educational equipment, besides maintenance cost of buildings, roads, furniture, transport, etc and award scholarships on the basis of income of parents. Similarly, the Centre pays for the three service officers and instructors, awards scholarships to wards of defence personnel, including ex-servicemen, and awards NDA incentive to cadets who join NDA.
The Kapurthala Sainik School, established way back in 1961 as a feeder institution for the armed forces, has 568 students currently. The school has been a source of pride for the state government with an impressive list of alumni. On June 13, seven of its students passed out from the Indian Millitary Academy in Dehradun, including the one who was awarded the Sword of Honour.
At present, there are 33 Sainik Schools, including two new ones in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha this year, in the country, with eight states having two or more of these prestigious institutions. And, a fourth of the cadets who joined the National Defence Academy between 2016-17 and 2018-19 came from these schools.
BUREAUCRATIC WAYS Conceived way back in 2009, new school at Gurdaspur held up due to delay in signing of memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the existing one at Kapurthala