NEW DELHI: The BJP ruled states have decided to bring harmony in their schemes particularly those related to education for girl child and those from the schedule castes, while bringing focus on nationalist ideology of the party.
The two day meeting of the education and culture ministers from the BJP ruled states concluded after intense deliberations The meet saw participation of HRD minister Smriti Irani, Culture minister Mahesh Sharma, and several RSS leaders including Krishna Gopal, apart from nine ministers from states, and senior BJP leaders.
Refuting allegations that the BJP government was trying to saffronise the education, culture minister Mahesh Sharma said, "We discussed education and culture and how we can inculcate values. The other issue was pollution of ideology, national ideology... Some people alleged that we are doing saffronisation. If at all saffronisation has been done, it has been done by the public of India. We accept the mandate of the people."
Sharma said they also discussed "conserving and developing national ideology" and how to remove pollution from it, a veiled reference to those aspects of the educational and cultural discourse BJP's ideological mentor RSS frowns upon.
Party leaders also spoke about on commemorating the birth anniversary of Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, which will officially start next year, 125 anniversary of BR Ambedkar, currently underway, and 150 anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
HRD Ministry Smriti Irani gave an overview of new national education policy being brought by the centre and asked the states to contribute with ideas.
The two-day meet ended today, coming close on the heels of the three-day coordination meet of RSS, its affiliates, BJP and the government held last week. Sources said representatives of RSS affiliates like 'Sanskar Bharati', 'Vidya Bharati' and 'Sanskriti Bharti' were also present in the exercise attended by HRD Minister Smriti Irani among others.
Sources said states shared their success examples, which the other decided to replicate in their region. Jharkhand spoke about its example ofPehle Padhai, Phir Bidhai (first education, then marriage), Chhattisgarh spoke about its cycle scheme for girl students which has boosted their enrolment from 53 percent to 90.
Madhya Pradesh minister told the gathering that the state was going to set up a body on the lines of election commission to manage exams in the state to curb cheating and mal practices.
Maharashtra spoke about gender survey of books to remove obsolete references, while also undertaking career guidance for drop outs.
“It was decided to focus on ensuring greater enrolment of girl child, SC/STs in schools, lowering their dropout rates, make sure reserved seats do not go vacant,” party leader said.
Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation Director Anirban Ganguly said participants also spoke about publishing books and holding events to popularise the thoughts of Upadhyaya on the occasion of his birth centenary next year.