All schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education will have to fit closed circuit television cameras and GPS systems on school buses, according to guidelines issued by the board. Bus windows will need to have horizontal grills with mesh wires and speed governors with a maximum speed limit of 40 km/h will also be fitted, the circular read.

The guidelines issued, under the directions of Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, come a month after 12 students were killed in a school bus accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district. “After the school bus accident in Etah, the board strongly felt that something serious should be done to stop any such accidents in the future,” an unidentified official told DNA.

The guidelines also ask for at least one parent to be present in each bus to oversee the conduct of the driver and other staff. “Parents are equally responsible for the safety of their children during school journeys,” the circular read.

A mobile phone will be provided to each bus to be used in an emergency situation. A transport manager and a trained lady attendant will be designated in the bus for the security of students. School bus drivers will not be allowed to interact with the students or staff on the bus “beyond a limit”, the circular read according to Hindustan Times.

Regarding hiring bus drivers, the circular says anyone with over two fines a year for any kind of offence cannot be employed. Anyone with a fine for rash driving or speeding cannot be hired too. The details of the driver’s name, address, licence number and telephone number of the school should be displayed prominently inside and outside the bus, the circular said, according to The Times of India.

Students will be asked for feedback on their school buses and drivers, the Board said. The Board also said that the management and head of CBSE affiliated schools will have to face appropriate action for any lapse in this regard.

Meanwhile, the National Independent Schools Alliance termed the CBSE guidelines an “unwarranted interference”. It also demanded subsidies from the government to carry out the recommendations, reported NDTV. NISA President Kulbhushan Sharma said safety of children was the duty of the government and not of the board.

“Complying with these guidelines entails huge amount of expenses which will eventually be passed on to the parents, thereby increasing their financial burden,” he said.