A post is being shared on social media, which claims that ‘ a huge temple will be built with a cost of 500 crore rupees in Vrindavan and 51000 government schools will be shut. This is how India will become a vishwa guru.’ This claim implies that the government is spending money on a temple while it is closing 51000 government schools. Let’s verify this claim through this article.
Claim: 500 crore rupees are being spent on Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir while 51,000 government schools are being closed.
Fact: The Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is a project of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Bangalore. Construction of this temple was inaugurated in March 2014, with 300 crore rupees as the projected cost. Neither is this temple being built by the government of India nor is it being funded by the government. On the other hand, according to the Ministry of Education’s UDISE+ reports, more than 51,000 government schools were shut in 2018-2019. Factly noticed that the number of government schools in the country has been fluctuating for the past ten years with no definite trend. The post incorrectly compares a privately funded project with government schools getting closed. Hence the claim is Misleading.
The post compares the Vrindavan temple getting built with crores of rupees while government schools get closed. We performed a keyword search on the internet to learn more about the Vrindavan temple. According to Vrindavan Chandrodaya Temple’s official website, it was conceived by the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore with a projected cost of 300 crore rupees.
It was inaugurated in March 2014 by Akhilesh Yadav, the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The projected cost of the temple was 300 crore rupees. Further, we could not find any information about Government’s contribution to the project in terms of funding.
To check the veracity of the post’s claims that 51,000 government schools are getting closed, we ran a keyword search on the internet and found a related TelegraphIndia news report from May 2022. The report quoting UDISE+ says that ‘51,000 government schools were closed in 2018-19.’
UDISE+ is a database of schools maintained by The Ministry of Education, which releases yearly reports/data about the total number of schools in the country, student enrollment, and other useful information about schools in India.
Data from the UDISE reports indicates that the number of government schools fell from 10,83,747 in 2018-19 to 10,32,570 in 2019-20, a drop of 51,177. To further examine the yearly trend in the total number of government schools over the past ten years, Factly downloaded the data from UDISE+ and observed that the number of government schools fluctuated over the years. There was also an increase in the number of schools in the years 2014-15 and 2015-16. But the most significant drop was in 2019-20, when the number reduced by over 50,000. No reasons were provided for this decline in the UDISE+ report. One can see the past ten years’ trend in the table below.
Hence, it can be concluded that the post incorrectly compares a privately funded project with the closing down of government schools.
To sum up, Vrindavan Mandir is not a government project; ISKCON Bangalore is building it.