Centre hands over 62% of new Sainik Schools to Sangh Parivar, BJP leaders: Report

CPI-M has expressed its concern over the participation of private players to run Sainik Schools being facilitated by BJP-led government.

The defence ministry had approved setting up of 23 Sainik Schools last year. (Representational/ Wikimedia Commons)The defence ministry had approved setting up of 23 Sainik Schools last year. (Representational/ Wikimedia Commons)

Ayushi Bisht | April 3, 2024 | 09:17 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre has handed over 62% of new Sainik Schools to Sangh Parivar, BJP politicians and allies, as per the report by The Reporters' Collective. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has expressed its concern regarding the report on the participation of private players to run Sainik Schools in India facilitated by BJP-led Union government.

"Collated information from the Union government’s press releases and Right to Information (RTI) replies show a concerning trend. Our findings reveal that of the 40 Sainik School agreements so far, at least 62% were awarded to schools linked to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its allied organisations, politicians of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its political allies and friends, Hindutva organisations, individuals, and other Hindu religious organisations," the Reporters' Collective said.

The CPI-M has condemned this action saying this might have a significant negative influence on the strict secular standards of our military institutions and furthers the tendency of communalizing education. "For the Sainik Schools to retain their national and secular identity, the Polit Bureau requests that the government reverse this action", CPIM said in a statement.

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Disparity in fee structure

The Reporters' Collective revealed that the annual fees for senior secondary education varies significantly throughout the fee structures of the new Sainik Schools, ranging from Rs 13,800 a year to as much as Rs 2,47,900, even with government support and incentives.

According to the Collective, this was the first time in the Sainik School system's history that the government had let private parties to join the SSS, receive "part financial support," and operate their own branches. The Indian government's Union cleared the door for private companies to take control Sainik Schools in 2021. That year, the government announced plans to open 100 new Sainik Schools around India in their annual budget.

The Union government last year approved setting up of 100 Sainik Schools in partnership with NGOs, private schools and state governments in a graded manner class-wise, starting from class 6 onwards. Under this initiative, a memorandum of agreement (MoA) has been signed by the Sainik School Society with 19 new Sainik Schools located all over the country.

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