Haryana seeks religion, ‘unclean occupation’ data from schoolkids
Chandigarh, April 10 (IANS) BJP-ruled Haryana’s Education Department has stirred a controversy by asking students in private schools to furnish personal and family data, including religion, caste, bank account number and Aadhaar details as well as if their parents “(are) engaged in (an) unclean occupation”.
The two-page form has given by private schools to students, including those in Gurugram and Panchkula. Inquiries reveal that the forms have been distributed across Haryana.
State government officials, contacted by IANS, feigned ignorance about the form, which carries the Haryana government’s official logo. They refused to be quoted on the issue.
A state government official spokesman said it was not clear who issued the form.
Private school authorities, in their communication to parents, have made it clear that the information was being sought by the state Education Department and not by the school.
“This is to inform you that we have received the attached format from the Education Department to be filled in by parents of all Haryana schools. Please note that the information being sought is not for school records but for use by the Government of Haryana. There are some mandatory fields that are marked with the * (star) symbol.
“In order to facilitate an easy flow of data from the parent to the school, we have created a Google link given below. You are requested to open the link, fill the details and submit the same to the school by April 16. Your early action will be greatly appreciated,” the communication from one of the schools stated.
Other schools have mentioned that the form has come from the Directorate of School Education of the Haryana government.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala hit out at the Manohar Lal Khattar government on the issue.
“Khattar government does it again. Students labelled as ‘untouchables’ & their parents occupation as ‘unclean’. The government, taking a cue from NaMo App, issues a 100 pointer student admission form. Since when has Aadhaar become mandatory for school admission?” Surjewala tweeted.
“The Khattar government issues a 100-point Students Admission Form. It is really a Surveillance of Parents/Students Form. Height of insanity is the kind of private info of parents being sought. Calling vocation of parents unclean is absurd. Surveillance is the DNA of BJP.”
The form also seeks personal details of the student, parents, siblings, bank account details, Aadhaar and PAN (permanent account number) card details, annual income of the parents and several other things. The students have been asked to specify their religion, caste and even category like Scheduled Caste.
“Asking details of religion and caste is appalling. If parents come from different religions, like Hindu and Sikh marriages are common in the region, what religion will the child mention. Moreover, why do they need bank account details of the student?” a harassed parent in Gurugram asked.
The students have even been asked to furnish information about genetic disorders.
“Why do they want so many details? What will they do with the bank account number of a student?” another parent in Panchkula asked.
Haryana has a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government since October 2014, headed by Khattar, a former Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ideologue.