The Delhi government informed the Assembly Monday that the powers and authority related to education lie with the Lieutenant Governor. The government’s position comes at a time when it is entangled in a power tussle with the LG’s office.
A list of nearly 19 functions-cum-powers vested with the LG and delegated to the director of education was tabled in the Assembly. “The powers lie with the LG, but have been delegated to director of education. Unless, the LG issues any order withdrawing the power or giving additional powers, decisions are taken by the delegated authority,” said a senior official.
Amid its fight for administrative control over reserved subjects such as police, public order and law, the Delhi government has been active in taking decisions on the education front.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said the order cited was in accordance with rules of 1973. The order has been put as annexure to a reply to MLA Somnath Bharti’s question seeking to know who is the authority to decide on age relaxation in various classes. “Delhi School Education Act 1973 section 3 of rule 43, Delhi Lt Governor has right to regulations in Delhi’s education. This right has been delegated to director of education under section 28 via order 4863-92 dated September 9, 2001,” stated the reply.
Asked if the government would challenge the LG’s powers on various issues of education, Sisodia replied, “We are fighting over our powers. These are rules of 1973. Whether we challenge them remains to be seen.” Sisodia, however, clarified that the order delegates powers to the director of education, just like the President has delegated powers to the LG.
Among the various powers and functions quoted as powers of the administrator (LG) in the reply are regulation of education in all the schools; establishing and maintaining schools; withdrawing recognition of a private school; distribution of aid to recognised schools, except primary schools; stoppage, reduction or suspension of grant-in-aid; and permitting any person to establish and maintain any school in Delhi. The list also include powers to issue detailed instructions regarding evaluation and promotion of students from one class to another and arranging for planned development of school education in Delhi. The powers have been delegated to the director of education.
There are a few functions where powers are not delegated to the director of education, but the officer is authorised to look into recognition for private schools, approval of scheme of management except of unaided minority school and granting approval to non-minority recognised schools for opening new classes.