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Pawan Arora - CEO and Managing Editor of First India - in a tete-atete with Education Minister Madan Dilawar finds out about his vision for Education department and the myriad issues plaguing the department. Arora also finds through Dilawar how the minister hopes to cure some of the most troublesome issues like transfers, shortage of teachers, his views of imparting discipline in children and restricting the trend of carrying mobiles to schools and not letting children waste school time in ‘Puja’ or ‘Namaz’. Interestingly, Dilawar also stresses that BJP and RSS are on the same page as against claims made by opposition. Excerpts..

Q. Your image is that of an honest politician and you take care of rules, regulations & procedures. But people say you get angry often. How did this become part of your personality?

A. (Laughs) Not on trivial matters, but yes at times one does get angry. When you inform or make someone understand something once, twice or a few more times and even then if the person does not understand it, then one does get angry.

Q. You claimed the previous government didn’t do any developmental work in your constituency, yet you still won the election. Is your victory due to your charisma, support from PM Modi, or backing from the RSS?

A. Yes, Shanti Dhariwal was the LSG minister from our district, and my political opposition to him often caused friction. He intentionally blocked development in my constituency, but I didn’t back down. I would camp at the Collectorate, demanding approvals, even sleeping there if needed. The officials, under pressure, would eventually agree, despite facing Dhariwal’s anger later. People saw my relentless efforts. They realized that even if work wasn’t always done, I was fighting for them. This trust led to my victory, with one and a half times more votes than my first win. Thanks to the almighty and the people’s blessings, the BJP is now in power, and all unmet needs of the constituency will be addressed.

Q. Every education minister has said that a transfer policy for teachers will be brought, but nothing has happened so far. Transfers are to happen now and considering the gravity of the matter, what are your thoughts on it?

A. Transfer is a normal process. Never should a person be posted on one seat forever. Employees have their problems too and they can not be ignored. So transfers should happen and sometimes they are done owing to administrative reasons. Keeping everything in mind, transfers are done. As far as policy is concerned, it is being framed under CM’s directions.

Q. Another issue is the staffing pattern perhaps owing to the transfer desires by legislators. The studentto-teacher ratio has been spoilt. What is being done to solve this issue?

A. In recent years, we’ve implemented transparent counselling, addressing many issues effectively. However, a few concerns remain. Firstly, transfers must be handled with utmost honesty, free from prejudice. Student interests are paramount, and if someone’s appointment isn’t beneficial for them, they should be transferred. I’ve noticed that in Barmer, Jaisalmer, and Mewat, Hindu girls face mistreatment. We’ll ensure their safety by relocating them to secure areas. I’ve also directed officials to address staffing patterns, and work is underway. During Congress rule, thousands of teachers were unnecessarily transferred to Jaipur on deputation. Everyone knows about Govind Singh Dotasra (then Education minister) that when then CM Ashok Gehlot questioned teachers about money being given to get transfers done, everyone said in unison that they were doing so since otherwise the transfers are not done.

Q. There is a dearth of teachers in Rajasthan...

A. As of now, there is a 23 per cent shortfall in number of teachers. We are now going ahead on this aspect and will leave a certain number vacant on various posts, then we will be able to provide teachers in an equitable manner. We will try to make them understand. After all everyone has children and children should get to study.

Q. The recent fifty percent reservation for women in recruitment might be problematic due to issues like needing schools near their homes and maternity or child leave. What are your thoughts on this?

A. The fifty percent female teacher quota isn’t applied across the entire education department, but specifically to L1 Grade teachers, who handle primary classes. These young children, coming straight from home, need a nurturing, motherly environment. By posting female teachers in these roles, we ensure a comforting atmosphere for the children while also providing more opportunities for female educators.

Q. There is a word going that all is not well between BJP and RSS. What is your take?

A. The Sangh and BJP are separate, independent organizations, so claims of a scuffle are baseless. Why would there be any conflict, and over what? Everything is fine between them. Some political individuals, especially from Congress, are trying to create suspicion of discord. The BJP and RSS share the same goal of national development, so there’s no room for differences.

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