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ISM eviction notice to school on campus

- Future of over 2000 students at stake

A cloud of uncertainty hangs over 2,000 students of a private school running on the campus of Indian School of Mines (ISM) after it was slapped with an eviction notice for not renewing its lease.

ISM estate court headed by its registrar, Col (retd) M.K. Singh, heard both parties on Tuesday and then served a vacation notice on Indian School of Learning (ISL), ISM Annexe, ordering its administration to vacate the premises within a month.

While hinting that the school may challenge the ISM order in a higher court, ISL director J.K. Sinha, said, “I have not yet seen the vacation order. But I feel that any educational institution can’t be vacated like a commercial organisation as we have a certain obligation towards our students under Right to Education.”

According to sources, ISL was established in 1989 after it took a 24-year lease on a 3-acre plot near Dhaiya Gate of ISM. The lease expired in November 2013, but the school administration did not initiate any process to renew the lease.

The ISM registrar said the ISM estate court, constituted by an order of the Union government to protect its property, decided to issue the notice as per provisions of Public Property Act after giving the school ample opportunity and time to present its point of view.

“We can’t allow any private organisation to take commercial benefit from our land without paying the required lease fee to us,” Singh said, but assured students that their future would not be jeopardised because of the eviction order on the school.

“We will not leave the students in the lurch. We will find a solution and may even operate the school on our own or explore other options,” Singh said, adding that school’s employees would also be protected.

Sources claimed ISM was planning the run the school on its own on a no-profit, no-loss basis since several other engineering institutes, like IITs, were also running schools on campuses for employees’ children.