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Stricter action needed to rein in errant private schools: Gurugram deputy commissioner

Gurugram deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh says schools not admitting poor students under the EWS quota flout rules due to lack of deterrence but derecognition not the solution.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 23, 2018 15:09 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,private schools in Gurugram,Vinay Pratap Singh
Vinay Pratap Singh, deputy commissioner of Gurugram, addresses a press conference on June 28, 2018. (Parveen Kumar/ HT File Photo )

Of late, protests have become the order of the day in Gurugram—against the denial of admissions by private schools to students under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota, power cuts, waterlogging, and over other civic issues. The authorities say measures are taken from time to time to address the problems. However, the problems persist. In an interview with HT, deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh shared his views on these problems and what has been done to address them.

Q: Every year there are protests as private schools deny admissions to students under the EWS quota. Why does this issue re-emerge every year?

A: Under the Rule 134-A of the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003, all private schools are required to reserve 10% seats for admission of students from class 2 to 11 under the EWS category. For this, the education department takes an exam and selected students are recommended for admission. The schools are allotted on the basis of the students’ choice, which is based on their residential area. The rule states that if the school does not give admission, a district committee can recommend derecognition of the school to the Directorate of School Education. We do recommend action against many schools every year, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

But, derecognising a school is not easy as we have to consider the effect it will have on other students in these schools. The schools know this, and thus, they take the norms lightly.

There should be a provision that allows the district administration to take over the management of the erring school as it happened in the case of a private school* (where a class 2 student was murdered in September last year).

Q: Gurugram contributes the most to the state’s revenue yet does not get enough funds for development. Why so?

A: I cannot comment on the earlier regimes, but during the last four years Gurugram has been in focus. A lot of projects are coming up here. A university and a medical college are being set up, the Civil Hospital is being upgraded and a new government hospital is coming up in Sector 67. Earlier, there were five colleges, but in last four years four new colleges, including one college exclusively for women in Sector 53, have been set up. As far as the university is concerned, the government has appointed a vice-chancellor, a registrar and support staff. The university is functioning from the campus of Rao Tula Ram College in Sector 51 and the government wishes to develop it into a Centre of Excellence. The city has already got underpasses and flyovers for smooth commuting.

Q: Lack of coordination among government departments is apparent in Gurugram when it comes to handling issues, such as waterlogging.

A: In administrative coordination, many things happen simultaneously, but the overall picture is not visible to all. The government has formed an umbrella agency—the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority—that will ensure coordination among all departments and civic agencies. The GMDA has come up with ambitious projects such as OneMap, laying optical fibre cables across the city to create a network of 2,000 CCTV cameras and managing traffic lights; 600 junctions will have CCTV cameras. Results would be visible in the coming six months to one year.

Q: Electricity remains a major problem with people from almost all sectors complaining about power cuts.

A: There are two types of consumers—direct consumers of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and a good majority are those who are not direct consumers of the discom. A large number of areas are managed by private developers where electricity is distributed by them, but infrastructure is not set up. There are some deficiencies in the infrastructure and these have been conveyed to the developers, but they are reluctant to invest. We are making efforts; the issue has been resolved in Ardee city. The DHBVN is also working on the Smart Grid system, under which the city has been divided in eight zones. Two projects have been initiated and tenders for others will be floated soon.

Q: What measures have been taken to improve the public transportation system?

A: The GMDA is working on the city bus service project and we will be able to launch the first fleet of buses by August 15. The entire city will be covered by the bus service in a phased manner. There is a plan for Metro rail extension for which the route has been finalised.

Q: There is cultural vacuum in the city in the absence of dedicated space.

A: In this direction, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram is in the process of constructing a cultural complex in Sector 53. According to the plan, the complex will have an art gallery, a theatre with a seating capacity of 1,500 people, two halls each with a seating capacity of 200, and an amphitheatre. The design has been approved by the chief minister and cost estimate has been sent for administrative approval. The project is likely to cost more than ₹100 crore.

Q: The newly developed sectors are facing a lot of civic issues, such as poor roads and shortage of water. Why?

A: Development of all sectors is planned as per the Master Plan-2031. The GMDA is making efforts to provide infrastructure in the new sectors. To provide basic facilities, the Gurugram metropolitan area has been divided in six zones.

* Name of school withheld due to court order

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 15:08 IST