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Govt wants count of those lighting lamps


Days after Human Resource Development Ministry sent a circular to schools and colleges advising students to burn a candle at 9 pm on Sunday, a new document has emerged in which the government has allegedly asked schools to provide information on the number of students participating in “candle lighting on the 5th April at their home.”

In addition, the purported document also asks schools to provide the number of teachers and parents who have downloaded the Arogya Setu app. This is in contrast to an earlier circular signed by HRD Ministry Secretary Amit Khare on 3 April, which stated that “As addressed by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 3 April, 2020 students may light a candle, diya or torch of their mobile phones for 9 minutes at 9 pm on 5th April, 2020.”

The Form

The form asks information that is sensitive, and leading.
The form asks information that is sensitive, and leading.

“It is not only lighting of candles, this circular has come in the form of how many people download the Ayurveda app, which is supposed to be beneficial in coronavirus treatment. But a separate form from the ministry has asked for the total number of students who light candles, total number of parents and teachers who download the Arogya app… I don’t think it’s the right thing to do… if you are asking for a number, you are making it seem mandatory.”Principal of a North Delhi school

The HRD ministry sent in a circular addressing the UGC, NCERT, AICTE, NTA and KV, along with certain private schools. It elaborates on three points;

1. Arogya Setu app

2. General measures to enhance body’s natural defence system

3. Lighting candles at 9pm on 5 April, for nine minutes

In addition to iOS and Android links to download the app, the protocol for immunity boosting (general measures) too was enclosed along with the circular, and available online.

Nowhere in the circular – in which Amit Khare, secretary at the HRD ministry, is the undersigned – or the enclosed attachment has it been mentioned that any of this is compulsory.

Yet, many feel that the form issued by the Education Directorate all but makes it so.“Something has come from the directorate of education’s office. There’s a form, you have to fill in as to how many students participate. But, not sure that will be possible. It’s a community initiative, so community has to take it. It also has asked for the number of parents and teachers who have downloaded the Arogya setu app (sic).”Principal of a South Delhi school

Immunity Boosting Measures

The attachments to the circular from the HRD ministry include simple Ayurvedic procedures to relieve congestion, such as nasal application of sesame oil/ghee, oil pulling, steam inhalation infused with mint leaves, etc. Also attached is a note on ‘self care guidelines’.

  • 01ayurvedic procedures.ayurvedic procedures.(Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Ayush)
  • 02note on self-care based on Ayurvedic science.note on self-care based on Ayurvedic science.(Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Ayush)

Courtesy – TheQuint

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