Sunday, April 14, 2013

Caste no criteria for RTE admissions, clarifies govt

Caste no criteria for RTE admissions, clarifies govt

Swati Shinde Gole, TNN Mar 29, 2013, 04.34AM IST

PUNE: Financial background and not caste is the eligibility criteria for securing admissions in schools under the 25% reservation scheme of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, clarified the state education department.
The director of the state education department had announced last week that students belonging to SC/ST/OBC/NT and with family income below Rs 1 lakh were eligible for admissions under the RTE scheme. It had created confusion among parents, schools and activists.

The department was on the back foot on Thursday as it explained its earlier statement as a 'technical error'.
A notice issued by the state education department last week stated that only students from the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, other backward class, nomadic tribes and denotified tribes having family income below Rs 1 lakh would be eligible to apply for admission into private unaided schools under the RTE scheme.
The government notification created furore among parents and schools alike as the open category students from the economically weaker sections were ignored completely.
Mahavir Mane, state director of education (primary) on Thursday, clarified : "The notification will be reissued after correcting the error. No caste and religion barriers will influence admissions under the 25% reservation scheme of the RTE. A fresh notification will be issued at the earliest."
The principal of a private school said, "If the government is creating caste barriers in admissions, then why have they set the income ceiling? It was a bit confusing. We are now waiting for the new notification so that we can go ahead with the admission process and also consider the open category applications for this scheme."

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