L-G has become major roadblock to development of Delhi, says govt

L-G has become major roadblock to development of Delhi, says govt

New Delhi: Delhi government on Saturday claimed that L-G V K Saxena has returned the file on Finland teacher training programme in “flagrant violation” of the Constitution and SC orders, and described him as a “mini-dictator”.

The lieutenant governor has given in-principle approval to the city government’s proposal to send primary teachers of state-run schools to Finland for training but with certain conditions, officials said on Saturday.

Saxena, in his approval, said he was okaying the proposal in the “interest of facilitating an executive decision flawed that it may be, rather than joining issues to enable anarchic disruption”.

He also noted that there was refusal by the Arvind Kejriwal government to bring on record the “impact assessment of the foreign training programmes conducted in the past”.

Hitting out at the L-G, the Delhi government, in a statement, alleged that he returned the proposal after sitting on it for four months and ensuring that it became infructuous

since the trainings were to be held in December 2022 and March 2023.

The Delhi government questioned the L-G’s expertise on amending the proposal, saying it was prepared by the SCERT, an expert body.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the L-G is acting like a mini-dictator. He has no right adopting a high moral ground in this matter after having deliberately rejected the whole programme,” the statement said.

“L-G has become a major roadblock to the development of Delhi. His only objective is to somehow stall all good work of the government,” it said.

The file for the Finland teacher training programme was first submitted to Saxena on October 25 to consider if he wished to invoke a difference of opinion and refer it to the President of India within 15 days, as per Transaction of Business Rules of the Delhi government, the statement said.

“However, in blatant violation of the rules, the L-G returned the file to Delhi’s chief secretary on November 10 last year raising three objections. The SCERT Delhi, the expert body that oversees teacher training activities, clarified those points and resubmitted the file to the L-G on December 14 last year.

Thereafter, the L-G sought two more clarifications and returned the file to CM on January 9. The then Deputy CM Manish Sisodia sent a detailed reply through Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to L-G on January 20,” it stated.

The L-G has once again returned the proposal with amendments “in flagrant violation of the Constitution and SC orders”, the statement said.

Citing the Constitution Bench order of the Supreme Court in 2018, the government said the apex court had observed that the L-G of Delhi cannot take any independent decision on any of the transferred subjects that come under the domain of the elected government, including education.

In his amended proposals, the L-G has sought to modify the number of teachers to be sent for further training, and also sought to curtail such international training programmes in the future by mandating that the batch of teachers being sent should become teacher trainers for rest of the teachers, the government noted.

“The L-G’s actions display a complete disregard and disrepect for the advice of SCERT Delhi, the expert body that has overseen all teacher training programmes in Delhi for several decades,” it alleged.

“What is all the more unfortunate is that the L-G’s delaying tactics have caused the cancellation of the training programme altogether.

“The first batch of government school teachers was scheduled to go to Finland in December 2022, but they could not go because of repeated objections raised by the L-G at that time. The next batch was due for March 2023, but the file was pending in the L-G’s office for more than a month, leading to its cancellation as well,” it said.

Earlier in the day, an L-G House official had said that the decision on the proposal was pending due to the AAP government’s reluctance to provide details of the impact assessment and analysis of similar foreign training programmes funded by it in the past.

In his approval note, the L-G has said that a “smear political campaign was perpetrated” over the issue, which the government called “baffling”.

“It is shameful that the Delhi L-G is resorting to such propaganda even after forcing the elected CM and almost five dozen legislators to march on the streets demanding the approval of this file. The CM, along with the legislators waited for hours to meet the LG but he refused to meet them then,” it said. Calling L-G’s action as unqualified overreach, Delhi government said that there is no legal or academic basis on which L-G can substitute the proposal developed by an expert body of the government “with his own misplaced wisdom”.

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