‘Vajpayee’ schemes in Cong crosshairs, now free uniform initiative to be scrapped
The Atal Free School Uniform Scheme has benefited nearly 10 lakh students, of classes I-X, but the new government has asked the education department to stop distribution of uniforms till a formal decision is taken at the cabinet level. The department has instead been told to submit a proposal after having completely restructured the scheme.
“We don’t really know if the government is thinking of completely scrapping the scheme or implementing it in some other format. It could be converted into Direct Cash Transfers,” a senior IAS officer said.
The innovative uniform scheme was launched by then BJP president Nitin Gadkari about a year back and was a completely state funded initiative entailing an expenditure of Rs 62 crore per annum. The beneficiaries, particularly students belonging to BPL families, were to receive uniforms twice a year. They were also to be provided the cost of stitching. A high-level committee under chief secretary Sudripta Roy had even decided the colour of the uniform while the state’s Civil Supplies Corporation was chosen as the implementing agency. Students have already been provided the first two batches of uniforms.
Even before its launch, however, the Congress — then in Opposition — had questioned the tendering process and tried to
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