15 January, 2021

Out Of HaRD Drive

Arjun 'detox' Singh has taken one wrong turn too many. Is his time over?

Jitender Gupta
Out Of HaRD Drive
A few months into the UPA government and Union HRD minister Arjun Singh was ranked among the few "performers" in Manmohan Singh's cabinet. He'd diligently set out to "detoxify" history textbooks and cleanse his department of saffron stains. In fact, Arjun was considered a symbol of the most significant change the new regime had heralded—a liberal ideology.

A year on, the picture is different. Singh's stock has fallen, his admirers in the Left have been vocal about his not doing enough in the detox drive, for allowing the National Institute for Open Schooling (NIOS) and the RSS-sponsored Ekal Vidyalayas in tribal areas to flourish. They have also criticised his decision to reserve 50 per cent seats in professional courses at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for Muslims and have dismissed the ministry report he presented at the UPA-Left meeting on May 18. PM Manmohan too is unhappy with Arjun's performance. PMO sources say he feels there's little progress being made in the field of education itself, which "holds the key" to India's future.

Indeed, the PMO's most...


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