Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar has bluntly told schools across the country to not approach the government with ‘begging bowl’ for funds. Instead, he said, schools should seek help from alumni as this was their duty to contribute to their educational institutions.
Addressing an event in Pune on Friday, Javedekar said, “Some schools come to the government with a begging bowl asking for funds. They can easily ask their alumni for help. It is the duty of the alumni to contribute to their school, their college and this attitude of ‘give it back’ should be cultivated by schools.”
His comments assume significance in light of his ministry according the status of institution of eminence status to Jio University, owned by Mukesh Ambani, even before its existence. As a result, Jion University was eligible for financial assitance from the central government to the tunes of hundreds of crores of rupees.
“Many students, as a reward to their schools, happily contribute in the development of the school… former students of Jnana Prabodhini are still associated with the school and help to sustain and maintain the school,” Javedekar was quoted by Indian Express.
Reacting to Javedekar’s seemingly bizarre suggestion, former banker Meera Sanyal tweeted sarcastically, “Good idea. As a result only potential Institutes of eminence with no alumni will henceforth be granted Govt funds.”
In July this year, Javedekar had proudly announced that as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘quality initiative,’ his government had selected six universities under its institutions of eminence category.
Aside from three government institutions, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and the Indian Institutes of Technology in Mumbai and Delhi, they also included three private universities namely BITS (Pilani), Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Jio Institute.
The only problem in his announcement was that Jio University was yet to be established and existed only as an idea.