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Court stays State Institute of Educational Technology closure

Courts and PILs

Times of India

19 June 2013

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa high court has stayed closure of State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET), an autonomous organization to promote technology in school education. The government had notified the closure on April 29.

Acting on a writ petition by 11 SIET employees, a bench of Justices M M Das and B K Mishra on May 15 issued the stay order. “If the state is proposing to close down SIET, such order of closing down shall not be implemented without leave of this court,” the order said.

The HC also told the government not to disengage the services of SIET employees and pay their salary regularly till final disposal of the petition.

Petitioners’ advocate Abhijit Pattnaik said the court direction has three parts: first, not to disengage the employees, second, pay them their salaries and third not to close down the institute, pending the case.

The institute, one of the six of its kind in the country, was established in 1986 and ran as an autonomous body under school and mass education department, receiving financial aid from the Centre. Besides creating teaching aid for adult literacy, SIET played crucial role in programmes under education satellite – the HRD ministry’s satellite-based education broadcast programme – and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in school education till the early 1990s.

In their petition, the employees highlighted that closing down SIET will be a great loss to the state. It would affect making of audio-visual programmes for schools and national education policy on ICT scheme. Besides, the huge infrastructure on which SIET functions will go waste, they said.

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