Various claims made by Aam Aadmi Party fall flat after RTI revelations

NEW DELHI: The AAP government spent Rs 30 lakh on advertisements for student loans’ scheme, but only three students got a mere Rs 3.15 lakh till December last, Swaraj India on Saturday claimed, as it sought to rupture the “tall claims” made by the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation in the field of education.

The Higher Education and Skill Guarantee Scheme is Delhi government’s flagship programme.

Addressing a press conference, Yogendra Yadav said doubling of education budget is also a “myth” as figures tell a different tale and stated the number of schools and colleges in the national capital show a decline, contrary to the claims made by the Delhi government.

“Till December 30, 2016 (in the past year-and-a-half), loans were given to 97 students of the 405 applicants through this scheme.

“Of these, the Delhi government gave only 3 loans, limiting their exposure to a mere Rs 3.15 lakh. All the remaining loans were financed through a similar central government scheme.

“In its very first year (2015-16), the government made an advertising expenditure of over Rs 30 lakh,” Yadav said.

Yadav claimed that information was sought through RTI and official documents of Delhi government.

The Aam Aadmi Party refused to react on Yadav’s alligations.

AAP’s Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey said, “We don’t want to comment on the claims those who have no role to play in growth of Delhi politics.”

Pandey later said, said, “At least three lives could be shaped by it.”

Yadav also claimed AAP had promised construction of 500 new schools in a year. However, in 2014-15, there were 1,007 Delhi government schools in the National Capital Territory.

“By the end of 2015-16, there were 1,011. All of 4 new schools were constructed in the entire year. This is much lower than what the previous government managed in each of the last 4 years. The total number of schools in Delhi NCT also went down in the year 2015-16, 5,796 as opposed to 5,798 till the year before,” Yadav said.

He pointed out that Kejriwal had promised 20 new colleges but at the end of 2015-16, Delhi has one college less than it had till the year before for general education (84, compared to 85 in 2014-15).

He also called the AAP government’s claim of doubling of education budget, a mere “myth”.

“A few months after assuming office in February 2015, the AAP government presented its first budget and went to town about more than doubling the education budget (raising it by 106 per cent). Figures that establish the claim as deceptive and an embarrassing exaggeration.

“It was only the budget’s ‘planned’ component which was hiked to Rs 4,570 crore from the previous year’s Rs 2,219 crore by 106 per cent, and not the entire budget.

“Also, of the gross allocated amount only Rs 2,932 crore was spent. So, the actual planned expenditure on education in Delhi NCT went up by 37 per cent,” Yadav said.

Yadav also raised the issue of guest teachers and said despite repeated assurances, they failed to offer permanent employment to teachers.
“Forty-four per cent of teaching positions in Delhi government’s schools are either vacant or serviced by temporary teachers. This is also in contravention of SC’s order mandating same pay for same work,” Yadav said, alleging that teachers are being victimised for raising their issues.

“The government should come clear on the demands of guest teachers and stop intimidating and humiliating the teachers.

“The chief minister should apologise to the teachers of Delhi, whom his government and his ministers have been publicly humiliating and intimidating,” he added, referring to rebuke by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia after the guest teachers protested against Kejriwal.