Rajasthan is set to change its government school uniforms just four years after then BJP government introduced one that was identical to the RSS uniform introduced in 2016.
State education minister Govind Singh Dotasara said, “The colour and cloth for the uniform will be decided by the committee constituted to look into it. But certainly the colour will change on committee recommendations. We are studying the model of other states, how the students will be benefitted, by direct benefit transfer or some other way.”
A senior official said in the recent department review meeting it is considered that the government will provide school uniform free of cost to students from Class I to VIII.
The change in uniform will affect about students studying in 64,000 government schools.
Since 1997, the uniforms in the state’s government schools had been blue shirt and khaki shorts or trousers for boys and blue kurta and white salwar or skirt for girls. In 2017, this was changed to light brown shirt and brown trousers or shorts for boys, and light brown kurta or shirt with brown salwar or skirt for girls.
Earlier, Dotasara had stated that the decision to change the school uniform was taken on the recommendation of a six-member committee. “The committee considered complaints of parents and school teachers about the uniform introduced during the BJP government in 2017, to recommend a change,” he said.
A government functionary familiar with the development said the colour of the trousers and salwar was identical to the RSS uniform introduced in 2016 and the Congress government’s decision to change it was a political agenda.
BJP MLA and former Education Minister Vasudev Devnani slammed the decision, calling it unfortunate. “It is unfortunate to change a uniform which was introduced after discussion with students and teachers and to give students a sense of pride, only to please one’s high command,” he said.
He said changing the uniform frequently isn’t a welcoming step, without any need. IT was changed after 17 years in 2017 by the state BJP government as it was required to boost the morale of the students and giving a fresh look.