The Weekend Leader - Rollback Privatisation Policy Of Sainik Schools In National Interest: Kharge Writes To President

Rollback Privatisation Policy Of Sainik Schools In National Interest: Kharge Writes To President

New Delhi


Photo: for representation purpose only

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday asked President Droupadi Murmu to rollback the privatisation policy of Sainik Schools keeping in view the national interest.

He said that Indian democracy has conventionally kept the armed forces away from any partisan politics and the past successive governments have kept the armed forces and its affiliate institutions away from the shadows of varying political ideologies.

“I want to bring to your kind notice an investigative report based on an RTI reply, which described that Sainik Schools are being privatised using a new PPP model introduced by your government, and now 62 per cent of these schools are said to be owned by the BJP-RSS leaders,” Kharge wrote to the President.

“In the national interest, Congress demands the complete rollback of this privatisation policy and annulment of MoUs, so that children studying at Armed Forces Schools retain the desired character, vision and honour required for the service of the nation,” Kharge wrote.

He explained that there are 33 Sainik Schools in the country which were fully government-funded institutions operated under the aegis of the Sainik Schools Society (SSS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“In 2021, the Central government brazenly initiated the privatisation of Sainik Schools. As a result, MoUs have been signed for 40 out of the 100 new schools, based on this model, where the Union Government provides an Annual Fee Support of 50 per cent of fee (subject to an upper limit of Rs 40000/- per annum for 50 per cent of the class strength (subject to an upper limit of 50 students) per year from Class 6 onwards till class 12, on Merit-cum-Means basis. This in effect means, that for a school that has classes till 12th standard, SSS offers to provide support of a maximum Rs 1.2 crore per annum, among other incentives,” Kharge letter reads.

He said that the report also found that out of the 40 MoUs that have been signed, 62 per cent have been signed with individuals and organisations belonging to the RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar which also includes a Chief Minister’s family, several MLAs, BJP office-bearers and RSS leaders.

“This is a blatant step to politicise the independent Sainik Schools – a preparatory platform which plays a leading role in sending cadets for the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Naval Academy,” he wrote.

“It is evident that it has been effected to ideologically indoctrinate Armed Forces at the entry-level. No political party has ever done this, as there is a general national consensus to keep the valour and courage of our Armed Forces away from partisan politics,” Kharge wrote.

He said that it is not surprising that the Central government has broken a well-enshrined convention.

“In the grand plan of RSS to hurriedly thrust its ideology, they have dealt a body blow to the very nature and ethos of the armed forces. Imparting ideologically slanted knowledge in such institutions shall not only destroy inclusiveness but also damage the national character of the Sainik Schools, by influencing their character through partisan religious/corporate/family/social/cultural credos,” Kharge said.- IANS

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