Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has clarified that his comments schools seeking government funding had been misinterpreted and he wished to withdraw two controversial words in particular.
This was after his comments bluntly telling schools across the country to not come to government seeking financial help with begging bowl landed him in huge controversy. Speaking at an event, Javadekar had 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.”
Maharashtra’s Nationalist Congress Party was quick to condemn the HRD Minister’s comments adding that the government’s money was not a minister’s ‘private property.’ Left red-faced, Javadekar on Monday said that he wished to take back his two words ‘begging bowl’ used for schools in his speech.
“I didn’t mean to say that the government will not help, I just meant that the alumni should come forward to help too. I also want to withdraw two inappropriate words begging bowl, which were inadvertently used during my speech,” Javadekar was quoted by PTI.
His comments assumed 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 assistance from the central government to the tunes of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Javadekar has now said that his words were misinterpreted. NDTV quoted him as saying, “The government is investing in education on a big scale and budgetary provisions have been increased by 70 per cent in the last four years. But, at the same time, the alumni also need to contribute to development of schools and colleges.”