Out-of-the-box ideas seemed to dominate Monday’s final budget discussions with senior representatives from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation announcing various proposals in the field of education, health and employment.

The proposal termed - Samanjasya - aimed at linking 10 primary schools run by the civic body to reputed educational institutions is one of the many adventurous schemes that has been put forth. The scheme, the details of which are yet to be finalised will begin with identifying at least 10 schools in the first phase which are not in use during the afternoon sessions. The school infrastructure will be provided to selected educational institutes which will upgrade the infrastructure, provide regular training and teaching content to the teachers of NDMC schools and will initiate new programmes for children. “The civic body will prefer these educational institutions to start schools from Class 6 to 12 with a condition that 25 per cent seats in their schools will be reserved for the meritorious students from the NDMC primary schools and will be free of cost,” said North Delhi Mayor Mira Aggarwal.

NDMC Leader of House Mahender Nagpal, who had earlier in the day announced the scheme at a special House meeting to finalise the budget, said: “The objective is to provide quality education to our children and bridge the gap between the rich and poor.”

The civic body which has under its jurisdiction 800 primary schools that imparts education to 4,50,000 students in the formative years of their life, has also decided to promote strong moral values in schools by holding regular lectures, workshops and street plays. “The focus of all these activities will be respect and dignity of women and mass awareness about the importance of this issue,” said Mr. Nagpal, adding recent unfortunate incidents relating to crimes against women has highlighted a pressing need to sensitise the youth of the country.

Also on the education front are plans by NDMC to take over the insurance scheme for students who suffer from specified injuries or death. “We decided on creating our own fund instead of paying a premium to any insurance agency,” said Ms. Aggarwal. The assistance under the Santavana will be provided within 3 days of reporting of the incident and its verification by school inspectors.

The civic body is also looking into providing opportunities to self-employed persons and start ups with the view to encourage youth to participate in the development process. “Small work keeps resurfacing within the civic body for which we need graduates in the field of information technology, hotel management or horticulture..” said Mr. Nagpal. Under this scheme termed, Swavlamban, people up to the age of 35 will be given an opportunity to register with the NDMC throughout the year to participate in all types of contracts under Unit Rate Method. However, only firms or companies can be registered and not individual persons at Rs.10,000 for general category and Rs. 5000 for women and SC/ST candidates.

The other proposals put forth include leasing out the upcoming 1000 seat auditorium within the premises of the Civic Centre, a proposal to set up a library within the premises and developing Town Hall into a centre of cultural and social heritage and a tourist attraction.

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