Bhubaneswar, Dec 25:
A five-member delegation led by eminent educationist Rajat Kumar Kar met Governor SC Jamir on Tuesday and sought his intervention to stop the state government from going ahead with the closure of State Institute of Educational Training (SIET), Bhubaneswar.
During its 40-minute discussion with the Governor, the delegation drew his attention to the gross management of the premier institution by the School and Mass Education (S & ME) department, which had led to the present situation where SIET is staring at closure.
In its eagerness to force the closure of this premier institution, the S & ME department resorted to blatant falsehood and sought to pass off a routine letter written by the Central Institute of Educational Training (CIET) as a Government of India letter to justify the closure, the delegation told Jamir.
Refuting the state government’s contention that the decision to close SIET was forced on it by the refusal of Government of India to sanction funds to it, the delegation produced information under the Right to Information Act (RTI), which proved otherwise.
The delegation presented a four-page memorandum to the Governor seeking, among other things, a thorough investigation into the affairs of SIET, retention of the services of the 22 directly recruited staff and immediate payment of their salary arrears for 17 months and appointment of an able full time Director for the revival of the institution.
The entire exercise would not cost more than Rs 1 crore, which can be easily taken care of by the S & ME department, which has an annual budgetary allocation of nearly Rs 10, 000 crores, it pointed out.
After patiently hearing out the arguments, the Governor assured the delegation that he would order an impartial inquiry into the bungling that had led to the sorry state of affairs in SIET and take steps for the revival of the institution based on its outcome.
Former Puri MLA Umbaalve Rath, Congress MLA Anup Sai, BJP spokesperson Sjjan Sharma and chief advisor of Odisha Karmachari Sangram Samiti Nalini Ranjan Pati were the other members of the delegation.