As move to replace HA School management gathers pace, DES terms tender illegal

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The destiny of over 3,000 college students of HA School in Pimpri might be in a limbo as relations between the college homeowners — Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HAL) — and the college management, Deccan Education Society (DES), have out of the blue gone bitter.

Established in 1958, with two college buildings inaugurated by Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the government-aided college was established primarily to cater to youngsters of HAL workers, as well as to these from low-income teams within the locality. It is among the many handful of government-aided faculties, sprawling over 2.5 acres, providing each English and Marathi mediums of training.

On January 21 this 12 months, HAL firm administration issued a tender expressing its willingness to outsource the college management to events with good reputation, with at the least 10 years of expertise in managing and administrating academic institutes. The firm has assured that even when the management is changed, the college will proceed to stay an aided one.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had inaugurated a constructing on the HA School, a picture from the college archives. (Express picture)

“We will offer better education without changing the status of the school,” Managing Director of HAL, Nirja Saraf, informed The Indian Express.

However, DES has termed the tender legally invalid. The lease doc accessed by The Indian Express mentions that the DES will handle the college from June 7, 1965, for a interval of 98 years. DES already runs quite a few academic establishments, together with Fergusson College, within the metropolis.

 

In the newest assembly, held just about on January 16 and presided by the School Advisory Committee – comprising members from each the corporate and the college management — the HAL administration sought from DES the college’s annual accounts and particulars of the opposite monetary issues.

“DES has never shared the school’s annual accounts or other expenditures incurred at the school for the last 40 years. In the January 16 meeting, DES assured that the accounts will be shared within 15 days. Thereafter, we have sent three reminder emails, but are yet to hear back in this regard,” stated Saraf, who took over as the corporate’s MD in 2016.

According to the lease settlement, DES has to pay the corporate an annual lease of Rs 26,500, which is topic to enhancement from time to time. This quantity stands unrevised, until date. As it has the possession of the college, HAL is meant to bear the bills required in the direction of the upkeep and maintenance of the college constructing and different civil infrastructure on the college campus, in addition to present stationery and furnishings wanted for the college.

But publish 1997, the DES administration claims that the corporate’s monetary assist in the direction of the college dwindled and it confronted a number of challenges in working the college’s operations within the following years. The college management claimed that it confronted issues similar to poorly-maintained bogs, lecture rooms with leaking roofs and compromised security of the college premises.

All of those made DES ship a letter to HAL in May 2012, part of which learn – “DES does not want to continue the management of the pre-primary, primary and secondary school of HAL with effect on May 1, 2013.”

To this letter, HAL reverted in October 2013, agreeing and granting the permission for a change of faculty management from the HA Board. But it was agreed upon mutually that the DES was to proceed until the corporate discovered an acceptable management to run the college sooner or later.

Between 2013 and 2016, there have been no additional formal deliberations on this regard initiated by both celebration, on account of which DES continued to handle the college.

“ HAL failed to adhere to the agreement clauses which mentions that the maintenance of the building and overall infrastructure remains the company’s responsibility. But giving most priority to the students, DES took it upon itself and carried out necessary repair works, partially using its own funds and rest generated through well-wishers and donations,” stated Dhananjay Kulkarni, secretary of the DES, who was a part of the digital meet held on January 16.

Kulkarni shared that lately, DES has recieved roughly Rs 1.5 crore from the college’s alumni, well-wishers and Parent-Teachers Associations, as donations. But the HAL administration has cited this fund elevating as a wrongful act.

“The company’s approval is needed before accepting any kind of donations given to the school. We have received complaints from parents in this regard. The same is applicable for taking up repair works planned on the premise,” stated Saraf.

Despite going through stiff challenges, the DES office-bearers stated they reconsidered their 2012 resolution of discontinuing all associations with HAL, because it might have an effect on the way forward for the scholars. The Society additionally confronted the problem of reinstating the 100-odd HA School workers, together with non-teaching ones, to different faculties run by it in Pune and elsewhere in Maharashtra, sources stated.

“We fully understand and are aware of the company’s financial condition. But our endeavour remains to run the school and offer best quality education. Issuing a tender was not the right move taken by the company when there is a 98-year-old valid lease,” stated Sharad Kunte, chairman of the governing council of DES.

But for a number of dad and mom, like D Bhosale, this tussle between the corporate and faculty management has introduced on a number of worries.

“This is a one-of-its kind English medium school in the locality, which offers quality education without charging an exorbitant fees. But if there is another school management taking over, we fear that we will be forced to shell out higher fees, which will be unaffordable,” stated Bhosale, who has additionally been a historical past trainer on the college for the final 32 years.

The means of accepting tenders stands accomplished for now and HAL will announce its resolution inside a month, knowledgeable firm management.

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