State Information Commission, Haryana has directed the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) and Educational Institutions to display information on the grant of free education by Educational Institutions. A compliance report has been directed to be filed by 1 November.
This was in furtherance of an undertaking given to the DTCP by Schools/ Educational Institutions who were granted change of land use permission to set up the schools. The undertakings had stated that such institutions “shall provide free education to SC/BC and weaker sections of Rural/Urban areas of Haryana would be made be available to at least 15% of the total students admitted in the courses, on the recommendations of the State Govt or on the recommendations of officers so authorized by Govt.”
The Commission was hearing an Appeal filed by Mr. Harinder Dhingra, who had sought information on the undertaking given by Schools/ Educational Institutions to provide free education to SC/BC and weaker sections of Rural/Urban areas of Haryana, reserving at least 15% of the total seats for them.
Information Commission Mr. Yash Pal Singal opined that the Act binds the public authority to make the “vulnerable sections of the society” aware of the seats reserved for them, and observed, “In view do the terms and conditions settled with the trusts/ organizations/ societies/ companies etc. Seeking change of land use for establishing educational institutional, the public authority is bound to ensure that such like scheme prepared by the State Government for SC/BC and weaker section of rural/ urban area of Haryana is well disseminated to all concerned for its proper implementation and welfare of such deprived section of society,”
The Commission, thereafter, issued the following recommendations, in exercise of the powers under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act:
- The public authority i.e. Director General, Town & Country Planning, Haryana to put the terms & conditions of Change of Land permission granted to all the institutions on its website for the information of general public. The schools must also prominently display the details of the scheme in the premises of the school at prominent place and at admission counters.
- The Director General, Town & Country Planning, Haryana may jointly work out a mechanism with the Director General, School Education, Haryana or any other competent and concerned authority of the State Government for implementation of the terms and conditions of Change of Land permission.
- The SPIO concerned shall put up information about the admission for students belonging to SC/BC and weaker section of rural/urban areas in the schools immediately after the completion of the admission process of each academic year. The information should immediately be uploaded on the website of the public authority so that it could be accessed by the public without exercising their right to information.
In case the trust/ organisation/ societies/ companies do not abide by the terms and conditions of change of land use permission, the Director General Town and Country Planning, Haryana may consider taking further necessary action against the Schools as per Law, Rules and terms of the agreement.
Read the Order Here
Posted by Gwendolyn Cobb