Patna, Jan 18: Bihar will not scrap Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s much-hyped bicycle scheme for students despite brazen irregularities.
However, the government has decided to make 75 percent attendance mandatory for students to avail a cycle from next session, Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi said.
The government will also monitor attendance for six months to prevent students from enrolling themselves in more than one school to get hold of a cycle, he added.
Authorities in Gaya district found that 357 school girls and boys got cycle twice under the Mukhya Mantri Cycle Yojna by a fraud of admission in two schools during the last academic session.
“It could be the tip of the iceberg,” a district official told IANS.
District education officer Vinod Kumar Jha said an inquiry has begun. “The parents of the students involved will be told to return the money.” He said school headmasters and teachers involved will be suspended.
In Bhagalpur district, hundreds of students stopped going to schools last year after getting money for bicycles.
The cycle scheme was the brainchild of Nitish Kumar, who started it in 2007. A student gets a cheque of Rs.2,500 upon passing Class 8 to buy a bicycle so that he or she can go to school every day.