The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation, envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school that satisfies certain essential norms and standards.

The RTE Act mandates that “every child of the age of six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till completion of elementary education.”2 In accordance with Section 12(1) of the Act, it is from within this neighborhood that each school is to admit children belonging to EWS. According to Section 12 (1)(c) of the Act, all specified category or private schools must reserve 25% of their seats for children belonging to EWS from the neighborhood. These seats are only reserved in the newest incoming class each year. If a school is K-8, then they only need to reserve 25% of the seats in Kindergarten. Similarly, if a school only has classes 5-12, then they only reserve 25% of the seats in grade 5 each year. The school cannot discriminate among prospective students in any way, this also includes entrance exams or aptitude tests for admission. Under the RTE, the “neighborhood” is defined as all economically disadvantaged families from within a 1km radius of the school

You can read more about the state specific rules for RTE admissions by clicking on the appropriate link under info on the top menu.