Bal Shree Honour lacks transparency: Central Information Commission

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has issued an order pointing out today (19 Nov 2018) that for a significant and an important scheme like Bal Shree Scheme, for selection of meritorious students, there was a lack of clarity, transparency and decision making at the District, State and National Level which requires a complete revamp and reformulation of the policy to benefit the young minds who are going to be piloting the major National Level Programmes in future.

The Commission, through an order passed by Central Information Commissioner Bimal Julka, has directed the Jt. Secretary, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (School Education Department) to re-examine the contours of the schemes and to ensure that the revised scheme is placed on its website not later than 60 days from the date of receipt of its order under intimation to the the Commission and the appellant in this case.

The Commission also has directed the Respondent to place a copy of the decision of the Commission before the next Board of Governors meeting for further necessary action.

The Commission was in receipt of a written submission from the Appellant V. Suresh (dated 12.11.2018) submitting that he had approached the concerned authorities not only through RTI application but also through various grievances submitted to the Prime Minister Office (PMO), and President’s Secretariat to know the position of his daughter in the merit list in the selection process, but all efforts were in vain as the information desired was not received by him.

The Respondents in this matter were National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi and Jawahar Bal Bhawan, Telangana, Hyderabad.

The National Bal Shree scheme was launched by National Bal Bhavan in 1995.

National Bal Shree Honour is aimed at identifying the creative potential of children in four main streams and motivate them to pursue and enhance their creative potential.

The official website of National Bal Bhawan today said: “the evaluation and selection is a complex process and procedure that need constant refinement and input from creative artist and experts in various fields. In a nutshell, only a creative procedure can insure a fair selection. Therefore, National Bal Bhavan is constantly striving to modify and refine the tools and procedure of evaluation for Bal Shree Award.”

A current entry on the National Bal Bhawan website on 19 November 2018 is a telling commentary on how seriously the National Bal Bhawan authorities were handling the matter.  It states: “Guided by the recommendations of the Evaluation Study of Expansion/extensive activities of entire network of National Bal Bhavan (A Project sponsored by Ministry of Human Resource Development and undertaken by Department of Educational Research under NCERT) regarding Bal Shree Honour, an expert Committee was constituted to revise the existing scheme of Bal Shree Honour. The Committee recommended changes in the existing scheme and the approved revised scheme is being implemented in 2015.”

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