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Delhi education system set to change thanks to AAP Govt Bills

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New Delhi: In a “historic” move on Tuesday, the AAP government passed several bills focused majorly on educational reforms.

The three major bills passed were: the Delhi School Education ( Amendment) Bill 2015, the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill) 2015, and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill which eradicates the no-detention policy from entry level classes.

“It is a historic moment,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his talks regarding the bills. “The three bills are proof that we are very serious about education. It is our top priority. Eradicating corruption is just a means, ultimately our goal is that every child in the city is educated and healthy,” he said.

It was necessary to bring these changes in the education system because “in the present, nobody could run a private school without engaging in cheating or corruption,” the chief minister added.

“Now the mechanism will be such that those who want to run their schools with honesty can do so, and those who don’t will be punished,” he said.

However the salaries of teachers would not be reduced, Kejriwal assured.

“Every private school will pay school teachers’ salaries as per what the government prescribes. For this, a committee will give suggestions. Schools will adhere to the formula set by this committee,” he said.

On the other hand, the school fees would supposedly decrease on the account of the transparency that the bills would bring in, claimed the CM.

“Verification of accounts is a first-of-its-kind Act being passed. If it is successful, it could set an example for other states,” he said.

The bill to verify fees was called “bogus” by Opposition leader Vijender Gupta. According to him, the bill would “encourage exploitation of teachers and school staff”. He said that the state government made it easy for private entities to carry out this exploitation legally.

“What the government is doing is legalizing exploitation of parents at the hands of schools. Where does the government think the money will come from if they impose fine on a school? It will be from the parents. What justice is this,” asked the BJP MLA.

Gupta also opposed the fact that Section 10(1) of the Delhi School Education Act, which called for parity between the salaries of government school and private school teachers, was abolished.

The removal of this clause, which had been added only after long protests by teachers, would give undue power to the school authorities, leading to the exploitation of teachers, said Gupta.

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Blow for Kejriwal: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

A big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party after the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs

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Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia commons
Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia Commons
  • The EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs under the ‘office of profit’ pretext
  • AAP looks forward to approaching the Delhi High court
  • The controversy started after Prashant Patel had submitted an application to the President

The Election Commission has recommended the disqualification 20 AAP MLAs. The EC found them guilty of holding an ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President. If cleared, the disqualification would mean that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will reduce from 67 to 47.

The 20 AAP legislators were accused of being unconstitutionally appointed as parliamentary secretaries to assist various ministers of the Delhi government. The EC’s opinion on this matter means that the AAP legislators are set to be disqualified, which could soon force a mini Assembly election in the national capital.

The party now looks forward to approach the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation be struck down. Wikimedia Commons
The party now looks forward to approaching the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation is struck down. Wikimedia Commons

“This is unprecedented. The MLAs in question didn’t get a chance to present their case before the EC. In fact, we didn’t hear the news from the EC, but news channels,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.

ALSO READ: Anna Hazare comes out in open support about Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Opposition parties have demanded the immediate resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi on moral ground.

The ‘office of profit’ controversy had started after a lawyer, Prashant Patel, had filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office. It questioned the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

The Congress had filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 as a follow-up, based on this application. The opposition party sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs.

Kejriwal had appointed MLAs in March 2015 and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015. Wikimedia Commons

AAP had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no monetary benefit attached to it. But then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, declaring them illegal since the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor”.

ALSO READ: Discontentment in the Aam Aadmi Party is resulting in Resignation and withdrawals from the party

In the first reaction to the EC recommendation, AAP spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted:

Here’s the list of 20 MLAs who have been recommended to be disqualified: 

1. Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli)
2. Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar)
3. Praveen Kumar (Jangpura)
4. Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar)
5. Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka)
6. Sanjeev Jha (Burari)
7. Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar)
8. Sukhvir Singh (Mundka)
9. Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar)
10. Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar)
11. Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk)
12. Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri)
13. Anil Kumar Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar)
14. Manoj Kumar (Kondli)
15. Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh)
16. Avtar Singh (Kalkaji)
17. Vijendar Garg Vijay (Rajinder Nagar)
18. Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur)
19. Sharad Kumar (Narela)
20. Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar)