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11 july 2012 003Dharamshala: A proposal made by the Tibetan government-in-exile nearly two years ago finally got the support it needed in the form of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry following an intervention from the Ministry of External Affairs.

The proposal stated handing over the running of Tibetan schools established and funded by the Central Government of India to the Tibetan government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration [CTA]).

The HRD Ministry was initially against the proposal. But it changed its stand in 2011 after the then foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, supported the demand.

The Department of Education (CTA) told reporters on July 10 that the Indian HRD Ministry has accepted the Tibetan proposal for a transfer of all the 63 Central School for Tibetans (CST) educational institutes, spread across India, which includes 34 pre-primary schools under its administration.

Currently these schools are managed and funded by the Central Tibetan Schools Administration (CTSA), a body under the HRD Ministry. At present there are 7,555 students and around 761 staff members in the CST schools, which run from the pre-primary to Class-XII and promote Tibetan culture and heritage.

"We have been requesting the Indian government for many years to hand over the schools to us, but only this year the proposal materialized as a result of the constant effort put in by the new cabinet," Ngodup Tsering, secretary of the Education Department said.

However, the Indian government will continue to bear the expenses of running these schools.

Thousands of Tibetan students have since studied in these schools and continue to serve the Tibetan exile administration.

Mounting concerns over the gradual deterioration of the quality of education and academic performance in these schools led to the demand for handing them over to the CTA, which has done a reasonably good job of managing a number of its own schools.

"The schools run by them are in fact doing very well. Their results are better than the CTSA schools. Hence, it is only pertinent that the CTSA schools are also handed over to them. While the Centre will continue to give them grants, the schools will, under the transfer proposal, be run and operated by the Tibetan government-in-exile. These schools, however, will remain affiliated to the CBSE. The Indian teachers already employed will continue to work there as Tibetan teachers are engaged only for Tibetan language teaching," a senior official said.

These schools are spread across Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

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