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HRD minister Smriti Irani had on 15 December claimed all schools will stay closed on Christmas. But she was silent on any similar direction to colleges and universities. Photo: PTI
HRD minister Smriti Irani had on 15 December claimed all schools will stay closed on Christmas. But she was silent on any similar direction to colleges and universities. Photo: PTI

Govt withdraws circular on Good Governance Day

Facing intense pressure, the Union HRD ministry withdrew a 11 December circular asking colleges under AICTE to organize events on 25 December

New Delhi: Christmas will be a holiday at all technical education institutions, and students won’t need to attend college to observe Good Governance Day as planned.

Facing intense pressure, the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry on Wednesday withdrew a 11 December circular asking colleges under the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to organize events on 25 December, when Christmas is celebrated.

Technical education regulator AICTE informed colleges, said that Christmas will be a holiday and Good Governance Day can be observed on any day before 25 December. “The birthday of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime minister of India will be observed as Good Governance Day. All AICTE approved institutions are hereby informed to celebrate this day by organizing events related to use of technology and innovation in promoting good governance and a competition on oratory skill," a fresh circular by AICTE signed by its chairman S.S. Mantha said late Wednesday.

“However, it is clarified that the programme may be organized on any day before 25th December 2014 since all educational institutions will remain closed for Christmas," Mantha said in the circular to all colleges under it.

Mint has seen a copy of the circular dated 17 December.

HRD minister Smriti Irani had on 15 December claimed all schools will stay closed on Christmas. But she was silent on any similar direction to colleges and universities.

Opposition parties have disrupted Parliament proceedings and demanded a response from HRD minister Smriti Irani and prime minister Narendra Modi.

The ministry’s higher education department had, in fact, issued such circulars to higher educational institutions. On Wednesday, Congress parliamentarian Jyotiraditya Scindia told reporters that his party wanted to know from Irani and parliamentary minister M. Venkaiah Naidu whether such circulars were issued or not, and whether the minister misled the House by giving wrong information.

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