Education Dept. official suspended over misrepresentation of Ambedkar

Handbook underplaying his contribution was uploaded online

A senior official of the Department of Public Instruction was suspended on Wednesday after a handbook that allegedly underplayed B.R. Ambedkar’s contribution to the framing of the Constitution was uploaded on its website in the first week of November.

The suspended officer, K.S. Mani, Director, Public Instructions, Secondary Education, was held responsible for uploading the handbook prepared by CMCA, a non-profit organisation.

A departmental enquiry on the issue has also been initiated against the officer. Three other officials have also been suspended.

Terming it a serious dereliction of duty, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar said that Mr. Mani had been instructed to first consult experts and take permission from the Commissioner of the department before uploading the handbook.

“However, the officer uploaded the document without following the instructions. It neither reflects the opinion of the government or the department nor does it reflect the opinion of the officers in the department,” he said.

S.R. Umashankar, Principal Secretary of Department of Primary and Secondary Education, said that the handbook was taken off the website on November 9, immediately after it was bought to his notice.

The Indian Constitution Protection Forum (ICPF), Karnataka, on Wednesday filed a complaint against CMCA and senior officials of the Department of Public Instruction and Department of Primary and Secondary Education alleging the document portrayed Mr. Ambedkar in poor light.

“We have complained to the Police Commissioner and he has assured us that actions will be taken as per law,” said Umashankar. L. of ICPF.

Mr. Kumar announced that all the schools in the State have been directed to celebrate Constitution Day on November 26. The Preamble will be read by students during the prayer, he said.

Ban on sale of junk food?

The State government is contemplating banning the sale of junk food within and outside school premises along the lines of the tobacco ban. “We will implement it once the Union government comes up with directions or laws,” he said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Tuesday had released the Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and Healthy Diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019).

Mid-day meal expansion

The State government is also mulling over the feasibility of extending mid-day meal facilities to Kannada-medium private schools. However, before this is rolled out, the government plans to ensure that the language of instruction in these schools is Kannada.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 10:07:48 AM |

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