The opening of two new Kendriya Vidyalayas in Bihar has been stalled over the state government’s precondition of ensuring that maximum 75 per cent and minimum 50 per cent seats be reserved for local residents.
The Centre had in August last year sanctioned 13 new Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country, two of them in Bihar. However, it had clarified in the proposal stage in 2017 that the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan rules did not allow seats to be reserved for local residents.
The JD(U)-led Bihar government got the land for the schools nearly six months ago but is yet to transfer it to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. Of the 13 new schools sanctioned across the country, nine have started functioning.
Former HRD minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, during whose tenure the two schools were sanctioned and who has taken up the matter with the Bihar government since 2018, has decided to go on hunger strike on November 26. “It is strange that the NDA government in Bihar has been at loggerheads with the NDA government at Centre,” said Kushwaha, whose party is set to launch a statewide protest on Sunday over the issue. “There should not be politics over matters of education… I am going on hunger strike to do my bit as a political activist and former minister,” he said.
Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal served a fresh reminder to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on September 11, 2018, reminding the CM to “complete formalities” for transfer of land for the schools in Aurangabad and Nawada. “The Centre had sanctioned new Kendriya Vidyalaya only after the authorities concerned agreed to complete all formalities… It has been 11 months since the Centre cleared two new Kendriya Vidyalayas for Bihar. Kendriya Vidyalaya officials have approached the state government officials and district magistrates concerned,” Pokhriyal wrote seeking Kumar’s personal intervention.
Bihar Education Minister Krishnandan Verma and education department Additional Chief Secretary RK Mahajan were not available for comment.
JD(U) spokesperson and Information and Public Relations Department Minister Neeraj Kumar said, “I do not have full details of the matter and am not competent to speak on the matter.”