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2 yrs after getting land,Rajeev Shukla society changed its name

One of the two plots,originally for a municipal school,was allotted to BAG Education Society for Rs 98,735 and measured 2,821 sq metre.

BAG Education Society,promoted by Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla and his wife Anuradha Prasad,which was allotted two prime plots in Andheri reserved by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a municipal school and a playground at throwaway prices in 2008,changed its name to ARVR Education Society in 2010.

ARVR Education Society runs the high-profile Greater Valley School in Greater Noida and its latest prospectus states that an international level school based in Mumbai is proposed to commence for the session 2014-15. It will follow the curriculum of IB/ ICSE/ SSC and will be affiliated to education service providers from the US and the UK. “Greater Valley School Mumbai… will be one of the rare schools which will have its playground within the school premises,” the prospectus says. “The proposed land area is 2 acre with a holding capacity of 1,800 children,” it adds.

One of the two plots,originally reserved for a municipal school,was allotted to BAG Education Society for Rs 98,735 and measured 2,821 sq metre. The other plot — measuring 3,534 sq m and reserved for a playground — was leased for 15 years for a paltry Rs 6,309. The two plots add up to 1.6 acre.

When BAG Education Society applied for the Andheri plots,it said the society had a joint venture agreement with RIMS (Rais Institute of Management Studies),an organisation that runs schools offering international courses and management colleges in Mumbai and Pune. RIMS promoters,however,told The Indian Express they do not know Rajeev Shukla or BAG Films.

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“RIMS International School and Junior College do not know Rajeev Shukla or his organisation,BAG Films and we have no ties with his trust whatsoever,” the Rais family said in a statement. It,however,added,“The ex-managing director,Museeb Rais,may have given a proposal to Shukla in 2007. However,this has been without our knowledge or consent. We would like to state that the same is not valid any longer.”

In fact,the revenue department had noted that the state education department had already approved setting up of a IGCSE school by RIMS with which BAG Education Society had a joint venture,and hence the latter would not have an issue while land is being allotted to the Shukla-promoted trust for a school. “BAG Film Education has entered into an agreement with RIMS International. As per the request of BAG Films,the school education department should not have any objections in handing over the said government land for educational purpose to the society,” a letter dated January 2008 signed by the then revenue under secretary V C Vakhare said.

When contacted,Shukla,who was a member of the BAG Education Society when the Andheri plots were allotted/leased,denied he was planning to use the said land to set up a branch of the Greater Valley School in Mumbai. “It was a reserved plot for primary school. There was no way we could have built a branch of Greater Valley on that plot,” Shukla told The Indian Express.

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When it was pointed out that Greater Valley’s brochure spoke of plans to start a Greater Valley School in Mumbai,Shukla said he was not aware of it. Shukla is a member of the advisory board of Greater Valley School,Greater Noida.

Majority of the Board members of BAG Education Society,were employees or stakeholders in BAG Films. Treasurer Vinay K Srivastava is listed as the vice-president,Corporate,BAG Films on the company’s website. Gulab Makhija,another trust member,was the then CFO of the company when the land was allotted. Shaji Nambiar,a third trust member,was the marketing manager of the company at that time.

First published on: 10-12-2013 at 05:07:25 am
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