Jaipur | Govt wants to tweak RTE to benefit BPL students

Jaipur: The state education department has proposed major changes in the Right to Education (RTE) Act. It wants that only BPL card holder families should benefit from the 25% quota in admissions meant for economically weaker sections. In the present system, schools are admitting students from families having annual income up to Rs 2.5 lakh on quota seats.

The department has proposed an amendment in order to allow admissions of only those students who belong to the BPL families.

The income criterion of 2.5 lakh is among the highest in the country. Officials say that higher income slab means a wider population falling under the quota of 25% RTE admissions. The admission is done through the online lottery. So far, 6.20 lakh students have been admitted under this Act since 2010. The government is reimbursing schools at Rs 17,500 per child rate in this academic session.

Official said, “The changes have been proposed as in the lottery, students of many BPL card holder families are left out. The RTE quota is primarily for the poor sections of our society. We have realised that the income cap of Rs 2.5 lakh is way higher when compared slabs specified in other states. It is the main reason why Rajasthan has the highest number of admissions in this quota.” More students under this quota means more burden on the state.Sources said that the move is aimed at minimising malpractices involved in admissions. The state is conducting a probe against over 3,000 schools which had reportedly inflated the number of students admitted under the RTE Act.

According to experts, the problem with the proposal is that only a section of poor possesses BPL cards.

Pranjal Singh, an RTE activist, said, “The 25% RTE quota guarantees admissions under separate heads – weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. The former includes a child belonging to such parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than the minimum limit specified by the government through notification. The ‘disadvantaged groups’ mean children belonging to social and educationally backward classes like SCs, STs and OBCs.”

Source: The Times of India

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