Engage MPs to Ensure Funds to Sainik Schools, MoD Told
By Yatish Yadav | Published: 24th December 2013 07:24 AM |
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has asked the Ministry of Defence to take up the matter of allocating Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds for Sainik Schools across the country.
In a December 19 meeting, the panel asked the ministry to look into, among other pending matters, the proposal to make the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance test mandatory for Sainik School students and to resolve land allotment issues with states planning to set up new Sainik Schools.
The panel has asked the ministry to use all available forums, including the Lok Sabha’s committee on MPLAD funds, and to approach individual MPs from the constituencies having Sainik Schools for apportioning the funds. The panels’ report is likely to be tabled in the next Parliament session.
The panel headed by Congress MP Raj Babbar slammed the ministry for delaying proposals to set up new Sainik Schools. Of 11 such requests received during the last five years from various states, only four could be finalised, the panel noted. The committee has also recommended setting up Sainik Schools in Northeastern states such as Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim and Meghalaya, which will require central financial assistance. The guidelines could be amended to create a special package through a central pool or through the Ministry of Development for Northeastern Region to have equal participation of Army officers,it further said.
The panel rapped the ministry for its “rigid” approach to the Northeastern states. The panel has asked the ministry to involve all the five states in discussions. The ministry was also chided for its lackadaisical attitude towards a proposal to raise a fifth battalion at the NDA.