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Nithyananda case: Finding serious violations, Gujarat govt asks CBSE to cancel affiliation of DPS

Secretary, education, Vinod Rao told The Indian Express, “another gross violation is that even today the land is not in the name of the Trust but a farmer and there is no non-agricultural use permission for this land”.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: November 24, 2019 9:06:14 am
Nithyananda case: Finding serious violations, Gujarat govt asks CBSE to cancel affiliation of DPS File photo of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

THE Gujarat Education Department has requested the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel affiliation of Delhi Public School, East Ahmedabad, after finding gross violations and suspected forgery of the No Objection Certificate (NoC) which was submitted to the board.

The Gujarat government in its inquiry into Nithyananda ashram being run from Delhi Public School, East Ahmedabad campus has found, “..that the No Objection Certificate of the State Government referred in the letter of Secretary, CBSE dated 21-11-2019 was never issued by the Education Department of the State Government. Prima facie it is a case of criminal misrepresentation, forgery and fraud.”

The preliminary investigations by the department found that as per the copy of leave and licence agreement made between Caloryx Education and Research Foundation that runs the DPS schools in Ahmedabad, and Nityanandeshwara Devasthanam Trust executed on July 15, 2019, a part of the premises of the school and the available spaces adjacent to it were given away on leave and licence agreement by the foundation to the Trust for running institution imparting Gurukul pattern of education for a period of five years with effect from June 1, 2019 for a token rent of Re 1 per annum.

Secretary, education, Vinod Rao told The Indian Express, “another gross violation is that even today the land is not in the name of the Trust but a farmer and there is no non-agricultural use permission for this land”.

The preliminary inquiry also found the school had violated the Right to Education rules and those of the secondary and higher secondary education act. In that of the 24 children who were from the ashram and enrolled in the DPS East, 18 were taken without any supporting documents.

“We have requested CBSE for urgent cancellation of the affiliation. We have also requested for an authenticated copy of the said document so that appropriate legal action can be initiated by the department for criminal misrepresentation and forgery,” said Rao, Secretary Education.

The inquiry was initiated on November 16 based on a complaint filed by Tamil Nadu-based Janardan Sharma, but it was further prompted after CBSE Thursday directed the Gujarat Education Department to inquire into the matter of leasing out the land of DPS Maninagar, Mehmdabad Road, Hirapur, Ahmedabad to Swami Nithyananda ashram without permission of the board.

“We have also requested that a team of senior officials of CBSE may be deputed urgently so that appropriate steps can be taken in coordination with the local officers of the Education Department for safeguarding the larger interest of the students studying in the school,” the report states.

On November 16, Janardhan Sharma, who had enrolled his four children in Swami Nithyananda’s ashram in Bengaluru, alleged that three of them – a 13-year-old boy and two girls aged 21 and 18 – were brought to Ahmedabad without his permission and illegally confined for nearly eight months.

Spread across a 10-acre land, DPS, East Ahmedabad, a member of the Delhi Public School Society running since 2008, has nearly 850 students enrolled under it, while the ashram has 24 resident-students which the school authorities claimed were enrolled with them.

The investigation has also revealed that in the proforma attached with the letter on September 21, 2011 by Delhi Public School, East Ahmedabad to the District Education Officer, Ahmedabad Rural against the question as to whether NoC has been issued by the state government for affiliation of the school with CBSE, the applicant has replied as “No, Not Applicable”.

Also, from examination of the land documents submitted with the application for NoC for CBSE affiliation, it has been revealed that several misrepresentations were made regarding the title and status of land in question.

“Since the land in question did not belong to the Trust and the status of land was still of agricultural use, none of the buildings on the compound were authorised nor any fire or structural safety approvals obtained,” the report states.

According to the general register and other documents obtained from the school by the inquiry committee led by District Education Officer (Rural) Rakesh Vyas, 24 resident-students of the ashram were admitted in the school starting from Classes I to XI. Among them, 18 students were admitted without any documents to support it, including their earlier School Leaving Certificates.

“In case of four students, it appears that the students are born outside India, based on their birth certificates. In about three cases, the students’ admission was cancelled later without issuing School Leaving Certificate. As per the Online Attendance System, they were marked ‘present’ but on cross-verification, it appeared that the students were not attending the classes, but were merely enrolled,” states the report as another serious violations under Right to Education Act 2009 and Right to Education Rules, 2012 for the primary section and Secondary Education Regulation Act, 1974 for the secondary and higher secondary section.

“This would be in addition to the violation of relevant sections of CBSE affiliation bye laws,” it states.

Despite repeated attempts made by the education department to seek relevant documents from the school, the education department waited for a representation from the school on Friday too. Though the school representatives intimated the DEO (rural) that they would reach his office and hand over all the required documents by 3pm, nobody turned up.

As per the CBSE records, the school was founded on June 16, 2008 and the current affiliation period is from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022.

Sequence of events for application for NoC by DPS East Ahmedabad:

-On September 11, 2009, application from Trustee, Caloryx Foundation for granting NoC for affiliating Delhi Public School East, Hirapur, Ahmedabad was received by Education Department, through the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).

-On October 1, 2009, details such as title of land and building, Building Use Permission, fire safety certificate was sought by the department from the applicant.

-On January 1, 2010, the education department again wrote to the applicant asking for some of the incomplete details above.

-On October 1, 2011, the education department again wrote to the applicant asking of some of the incomplete details above.

-On January 2, 2012, fresh details in support of the application was received by the education department through the GSHSEB.

-On February 4, 2012, the application for grant of NoC for affiliation with the CBSE Board was rejected by the education department on the ground that the land claimed to have been belonging to the school has still not been converted to Non Agriculture use, and was promptly communicated.

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