The Centre today informed the Delhi High Court that entries to online essay competition, to mark "Good Governance Day" for schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education will be accepted on December 25 and 26.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice P S Teji was informed by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain that a notification in this regard by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) would be communicated through a press note and widely publicised through media.
"ASG submits that circular of MHRD asking students of all CBSE schools to participate in essay writing competition will not be confined to December 25 only but would also be open on December 26 as well. Same would be notified today itself through a press note and wide publicity," the bench said.
December 25, birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malaviya, is being observed as good governance day by the NDA government.
The submission of ASG came while hearing a plea filed by P B Prince Gajendra Babu who had sought directions to withdraw the circular instructing the educational institutions to celebrate "Good Governance Day" on December 25 in its entirety.
According to the plea, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), which is under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, issued the circular instructing all its schools to celebrate 'Good Governance Day' on December 25.
"The circular was strongly opposed by the political parties and was also discussed on the floor of Parliament. Despite such strong opposition, neither it was withdrawn by NVS nor by any other respondents," it said.
The plea said that the notification was contrary to the preamble of the Constitution of India, rights of the citizen and would cause communal disharmony among public.
It contended that the circular was against the secular spirit of the Constitution and therefore liable to be quashed.
However, MHRD issued a clarification stating that the essay writing competition was voluntary and schools need not remain open on December 25 as it was online, it said.
"CBSE has not directed any school to remain open on 25th December, 2014. All schools will follow their vacation schedule...This online essay competition is completely voluntary and the students, if they so desire, can participate from their homes or any other place which provides online access," MHRD had said in its clarification.