Railways subsidiary to organise study tours for Delhi students

October 12th, 2008 - 12:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Parents of students in Delhi’s state-run schools might breathe easy now with the government deciding to rely on an Indian Railways subsidiary - instead of private operators - for organising educational trips outside the city.The Delhi government, which runs 900 schools in the city, will organise all outstation study tours for students through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

“The schools were facing many problems with private tour operators such as poor food, bad transportation facilities and substandard accommodation,” a Delhi government official told IANS.

“To save them from all such things, we finally selected IRCTC as it is quite reliable and has a good experience in tourism business,” the official added.

“All outstation tours shall be undertaken at this stage through the IRCTC. They have undertaken to take care of all issues concerned, from picking the student up to dropping them at the end of the tours,” says a circular signed by Chandra Bhushan Kumar, director (education), Delhi government.

“This will include arrangement for stay, travel, food and the rates are within the norms prescribed by the government for these tours,” says the circular, a copy of which is with IANS.

IRCTC has already taken more than 100 schools for trips to places like Mount Abu, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Nainital, Mussorie and Dehradun after the circular was brought out in August.

“We have recently tied up with the Delhi government. We have so far taken students from over 100 Delhi government schools on educational tours,” Shashank Shekhar, deputy general manager (tourism), IRCTC, told IANS.

“We are also in touch with nearly 400 schools for organising trips. So far we have received a very encouraging response from both teachers and students. Through us they are also getting an insight into Indian Railways,” Shekhar added.

As per the circular, only Class 11 students are eligible for the outstation trips and in 2008-09 only 40 students per school will be taken. The group will comprise students who have topped in academics and those who have excelled in extra-curricular activities.

The trips - not to exceed five days - would be to places of educational, historical, geographical, scientific and ecological interest and would be undertaken only during summer vacations or autumn breaks.

The students would be taken free of charge. A fund of Rs.100,000 per year has been provided to the schools by the department for these outstation trips.

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