Nagpur: Maharashtra Education Minister Rajendra Darda today faced heat in the Legislative Assembly over delay in the appointment of competent authority to regulate school admissions under the Right to Education Act.
Replying to a starred question during the Question Hour, Darda admitted the delay on government's part, and also added that interviews for the admission were completely illegal.
He informed that government recently nominated Zilla Parishad's Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and Municipal Commissioners as the special competent authority in the district and Municipal Corporation limits respectively.
A notification in this regard was issued on December 2. Opposition Leader in the House Eknath Khadse (BJP) wanted to know why this information was not provided in printed answers earlier.
Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil also pulled up Darda over this. Khadse demanded an apology from Darda for the lapses in implementing the rules.
The Minister also said that if any school management interviewed parents or the children at the time of admission, it would be treated as a punishable offence.
Finalising the admission in school for the child in pre-primary after interviewing the parent or the child would strictly be a punishable offence and if any management defies the law, Rs 25,000 would be imposed as penalty, and if it again continues the practise, the management would be penalised Rs 50,000 for each case," he said.
Interview for admission was completely illegal under Right To Education Act, Darda said. Bala Nandgaonkar of MNS said that several schools, particularly the CBSE ones, still conduct interviews. The Minister said he had already asked the officials to implement the policy strictly.
The Speaker said a draft regulation to curb such practises had been prepared long ago, but nothing happened. "This draft can be used to regulate the educational institutes in the state," Walse-Patil said, asking the Minister to discuss it with the Chief Minister before the end of the winter session.