KV Correspondent

Laxity: No uniforms for school kids as procurement gets delayed

Laxity: No uniforms for school kids as procurement gets delayed
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Srinagar: The school education department seems to have forgotten to distribute the school uniforms among the students enrolled in government schools. The school children are yet to receive the uniforms despite five months of the present academic session in valley already being over.
As per norms, the distribution of school uniforms should start in month of March after schools resume their class work post winter vacations.
An official said Samagra Shiksha has released Rs 52 crore from MHRD for the purchase of school uniforms but the state authorities are yet to complete the process, exposing the laxity of the department.
“The Samagra has given the contract to J&K handloom department for procurement of school uniforms due to which the distribution was delayed till date. As of now, the uniforms are not stitched,” the official said.
The official said the decision to outsource the purchase of uniform to handloom or SICOP was taken after government of India raised objections over the previous process. “Government of India stated that stuff of uniform was not up to the mark and the colour also varied from institution to institution,” the official said.
The official said the stuff of new uniforms will be 65 cotton stuff and 35 percent viscose which have been approved by MHRD as well.
“The color and stuff will be the same for all schools across the valley,” the official added.
Meanwhile, a source said that out of Rs 52 crore released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Rs 15 crore has been released to handloom department but the process was going on at snails’ pace.
“The left out funds will be released to them after the uniforms will be distributed among the school children,” the official added.
As per norms, MHRD under Samagra-a centrally sponsored scheme, provides two sets of school uniforms free to each student in government schools. For this the school education department is provided a unit cost of Rs 600 which was Rs 400 till last year.
Earlier, the zonal education officers (ZEOs) would purchase uniforms for students against which complaints were received from different quarters that the officers would swindle money during the process of procurement of uniforms.
“The uniforms were to be procured by the concerned school heads and distributed to the students after displaying the sample before the Village Education Committee. But ZEOs used to swindle the money by procuring uniforms from selective firms without inviting any competition from other sellers and bargain the rates,” the official said.
State Project Director (SPD) Samagra Shiksha, Arun Kumar Manhas said the uniforms will be distributed among school children in a shortest possible time.
“There was a delay in it as the department changed the whole procedure for procurement and distribution of uniforms,” he added.

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