Even though city-based government schools have finally got companies interested in supplying school uniforms at nominal rates,the companies are not getting an encouraging response,as the majority of school principals are not well-versed with the procedure related to opening of tenders.
The Mumbai-based Alok Industries Limited,which has applied in more than 70 per cent of the schools for bids to provide the uniforms,told Newsline that it is being harassed,as the principals are not aware of the tendering process and have been asking for irrelevant papers,even those not required for the process. The company alleged that some of the principals are confused between technical and financial bids.
Apart from Alok Industries,two city-based companies have also applied for the bids. The schools received their response after they floated the tenders for the third time to find suppliers for the uniforms. Initially,the tenders had been floated in February.
Government Teachers Union (GTU) member and principal of the government school at Sector 34,Dr Vinod Sharma said that tenders and bids are matters that involve finances,so principals have to be cautious in their conduct. We got detailed instructions from the UT Education Department and we are following those only. It is better to ask for more papers rather than no papers. Principals are ensuring complete transparency, he added.
District Education Officer (DEO),Ram Kumar Sharma said,We have given a detailed lecture to all the principals telling them how to go about the tendering process. Even an officer from the UT Finance Department had counseled the principals regarding the same. If principals are facing any problem then they can always approach the authorities.
It was on the directions of the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) that the school management committees (SMCs) had floated the tender to buy the school uniforms.
A three-member high-powered committee consisting of UT Finance Secretary V K Singh,Secretary,Tourism D K Tiwari and Chairman,Housing Board Satya Gopal had decided that school management committees should be authorised to invite the tenders for the purchase of the school uniforms and they had fixed price ceiling of the uniforms to be Rs 300 for Class I to V and Rs 375 for Class VI to VIII.
The committee had also instructed certain tests that were to be adhered to by the suppliers before manufacturing the uniforms. The committee had specified a special yarn to be chosen for making the uniforms and certain chemical and mechanical tests that the uniforms were required to clear.
The committee had fixed the above mentioned price after seven principals were asked to conduct a market survey to know the rates of the uniforms,said Ram Kumar Sharma.