The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered the tender process floated by the State for procuring equipment for video studio, providing animation lab services, supply of resource staff for operating and maintaining video studio in the State-run ‘Kalvi TV’ channel towards implementation of Centre sponsored ‘Samagra Shiksha Scheme’ be put on hold.
A Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and J. Sathya Narayana Prasad ordered notice to the State on a batch of petitions filed by K. Manikanda Boopathi of Uthamapalayam, Theni district. His appointment as the CEO of Kalvi TV was put on hold by the government after certain sections had expressed apprehension over his alleged ideological affiliation.
The petitioner complained that the tender stipulations are manifestly arbitrary, vague, non-competitive, unfair, failing to secure State’s intellectual property rights. The tender stipulations for equipment supply and content creation lacked the required expertise and futuristic approach.
State of the Art equipment should be procured in order to produce superior content and conduct interactive classes / lessons for students with the intention that the resources are used in the best manner and with a futuristic vision, he said.
In his petition, he said, “Out of my inquisitiveness I went through the tender documents in the website and it struck me that both the tenders i.e., one for Video Studio equipment procurement, supply, Installation, Integration, testing, commissioning and 24X7 maintenance support for period of 5 years and another for establishing providing animation lab services were flawed in every material aspect and apparently those tender documents had been prepared without getting inputs from the experts in the field and was almost favouring a particular brand / supplier and had many of the non-interactive equipment which I had earlier advised the ‘Kalvi Tv’ officials to be unsuitable for the present day educational broadcasting purposes. Most striking was the absence of ‘Tender Value’ in both the documents”.
He said that he had submitted a representation pointing out the major flaws in the tender document, especially relating to the equipment specification, eligibility criteria and the conspicuous absence of the total value in the tender documents, amongst other things. The flaws were also highlighted from various quarters, but it appears to have been ignored, he said.