Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has decided to geo-tag all the madrassas in the state through a GPS-based service. The move is justified as an effort to weed out fake students and staff.
Furthermore, the state government has also directed madrassas to share maps of the classrooms, photographs of the building, the teachers’ bank account details and upload each of the employee’s Aadhaar card details on a newly launched government website — madarsaboard.upsdc.gov.in – by October 15.
An order of the copy, which was issued on July 31, is with The Times of India. The government has asked the registrar of the UP Madrassa Shiksha Parishad to include all of the 16,000 recognised madrassas in the state in the geo-tagging initiative. Subsequently, each madrassa will be identified by a ‘unified district information system for education (UDISE)’ code.’
The order was issued by principal secretary Monika Garg and the institutes will have to adhere to it to retain their recognition and state government aid.
The Times of India reports that ‘development’ has been listed as one of the eight main reasons behind the move. “The launch of the portal and other services is to ensure development, competency-mapping, simplification of process and improvement in education quality of madrassas,” says the order, adding that it aims to “curtail duplication of teaching staff as well as beneficiary students”.
Details of bank accounts of the teaching staff and education related officials at the madrassas will be verified through a public finance management system. “Only after the financial details of teachers and staff have been collected and their bank accounts verified, (will) their salaries be disbursed,” states the order.’’
Each madrassa will also have to state the layout of its building, the area of campus and other details on the website.
“There would not be any tweaking in the data related to the madrassas as all district minority officers (DMOs) will be able to lock the details with a digital signature. No madrassa will be able to alter the data related to any madrassa after thorough verification,” says the order.
Earlier, the Cm Adityanath-led UP government had issued an order making videography of celebrations mandatory for madrassas but not government schools. The order attracted a lot of controversies.
The Logical Indian community strongly condemns the decision of the Uttar Pradesh government to geo-tag (surveillance) madrassas across the state. As these are Muslim educational institutions (even though Islamic religion may not be the only subject taught here), it is evident that the government is targeting the religion. The state of government schools in UP is not unknown (based on the 2011 census UP ranks 29 in literacy rate out of the 36 states and union territories in the country), however, the government hasn’t included public schools in the geo-tagging ‘developmental’ initiative.