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Sisodia tables bills to curb irregularities by private schools

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New Delhi: The two bills tabled by deputy chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia on Saturday has sent a warning to the private schools in the capital. The bills aim at keeping a vigil over the accounts of the schools and ensure a parity in the salary between teachers of private and government schools.

The two bills, Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill and Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill in the Assembly, would prevent the private schools from fleecing the parents and children during the admission process. The new law will also do away with the interviews of children and parents at the elementary level.

Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio in the AAP government, made it clear that any school found accepting capitation fee or donation or conducting interviews for nursery admission will be fined with a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh. Repetition of such similar offence could result in a jail term of three years, he warned.

“The existing laws only provide for de-recognition of the schools. While this is no deterrent for the school owners, the teachers and students have to suffer because of this. But the new law will put an end to the monopoly of private schools and violation will result in a hefty penalty,” Sisodia said.

The Bill facilitates the Delhi government to constitute a committee for the verification of accounts of the schools. The committee will examine the accounts of the schools and see whether the fee being collected from students is spent on education. The bill also has a provision for refunds if an excess fee is charged by the schools.

“Every school shall submit duly audited financial return and other documents along with the proposed fee structure for the next academic year to the committee,” the Bill read.

Notably, a probe by the Delhi High Court-appointed Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee revealed prevalent financial irregularities by private schools in Delhi.

“The private schools cannot be allowed to collect hefty fees from students and use it for running their business. We will also ensure that no genuine school owner will be harassed,” Sisodia said.

However, BJP is opposing the bill. The Delhi assembly is expected to hold a discussion on the bill on Monday.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Picture Courtesy: www.thequint.com)

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Remove ‘Aam Aadmi’ words from all AAP Government Schemes, says Delhi Election Commission ahead of Municipal Elections

The commission also demanded a "compliance report" within 48 hours

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People standing in queue during UP Elections. (representational Image), VOA

New Delhi, March 22, 2017: Ahead of municipal elections in the national capital, the Delhi Election Commission has directed the AAP government in the capital to remove “Aam Aadmi” words from all forms of display of its schemes.

The commission through a letter on Monday directed the Delhi Chief Secretary and all the three city municipal commissioners to remove the words “Aam Aadmi” from all forms of display, including hoardings, banners, name plates, billboards, in Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic and Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Service or anywhere within the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.

The letter became public on Tuesday.

The commission also demanded a “compliance report” within 48 hours.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues.

The action comes after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta on March 18 submitted a memorandum to the state Election Commission seeking removal of words “Aam Aadmi” from the names of the government-run schemes, including Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic and Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Service and others.

Elections for the North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations are scheduled to be held on April 22 and the results will be announced on April 25.

The model code of conduct is in force from March 14.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is gearing up for intensive campaigning for the civic polls from March 31.

AAP Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has planned several public meetings across the city for the municipal polls. (IANS)

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Even odd rule: Common man most affected

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By Harshmeet Singh

Delhi Government’s decision to prohibit the odd and even numbered private vehicles on alternate days was probably the biggest news to come out yesterday. The decision was lauded by many, refuted by some but ignored by none. Within hours of the news, different memes started to do rounds on the internet and the public started to voice their opinions on the social media. The speed at which the news spread highlighted the impact of even odd rule on the common man.

Delhi won’t be the first place in the world to implement such a rule. The even-odd rationing has been enforced in a number of other countries for varying reasons. In 1979, when Iran and Iraq were going through turbulent times and weren’t able to contribute to the world’s oil output, the oil prices shot up considerably. To tackle the situation, the US went for odd-even rationing, allowing even and odd numbered vehicles to buy gasoline on alternate days. Similar strategies, albeit to restrict the burgeoning traffic, have been put into action in cities such as Athens, Mexico city, Manila and Quito (Ecuador). Beijing also made use of this rule for 2 months prior to the 2008 Olympics to improve the air quality in the city.

This move by the Delhi Government comes after the Delhi High Court’s remark that living in Delhi is similar to “living in a gas chamber”. However, despite all the good intentions that are behind this decision, it is at best, a knee-jerk reaction from the government. This decision follows the controversial four-hold salary hike that the Delhi MLAs gifted themselves as an advance New Year bonanza.

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The new traffic rule would hit the lower and middle class the hardest while having little impact on the high-class people, most of whom own more than one car anyway. Considering the purchasing power of the affluent class in Delhi, this decision may very well result in a spike in car sales in the National capital. For the middle-class populace, who used to take their motorbike or the budget car at work, it is time to shell out extra bucks for those autorickshaws who refuse to go by the meter.

Pawandeep Singh, a resident of Dwarka in Delhi, drives to work to Gurgaon every day, along with his wife. He is ready to invest in another car to avoid the hassles. He tells NewsGram, “If I have to go to Gurgaon from Dwarka, there is no adequate metro connectivity. I would be willing to buy a second hand car with an odd-numbered number plate rather than changing multiple buses and autos.”

Urvashi Chaurasia, who lives in Saket, says that she is ‘surprised’ by this ‘mindless’ decision. In an interaction with NewsGram, she says, “I haven’t given a thought to what I would do after this mindless decision. But I am certainly not going to travel in those overcrowded buses and over-priced autos.”

The Kejriwal government seems to have jumped the gun with this decision. It should have first put the city’s public transport in order before going for such a radical step. The number of DTC buses is way below the requirement. The metro coaches are packed on most of the routes and their frequency is much lower than adequate. Both of these modes of transport fail to offer the last mile connectivity which is dearly needed in a huge city like Delhi. It gives an opportunity to the autorickshaws to make merry and demand higher fares.

The only option left for the common man to avoid much hassles is car pooling. But the deteriorating law and order situation in the city can make anyone skeptical at the thought of sharing his car with someone else. Delhi seems to be unprepared for such a move on all counts. With public transport that is nowhere near ‘world class’, the common man can’t afford road space rationing.