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Girls get preference under Right to Education Act in Maharashtra

Girl Child Education, Right to Education

MUMBAI: Girls will get preference in admission to schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. This will be done as part of the 25%reservation for economically weaker section (EWS) and socially disadvantaged group (SDG) students, said sources.

A proposal to this effect was approved at a cabinet meeting in Mantralaya on Wednesday.
In a related development, the cabinet approved the definition of EWS. According to this, children of families with an annual income of Rs 1 lakh will be considered under the EWS quota; a similar income slab will apply to the SDGs as well. However, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students have been exempted from this slab as no income limit has been determined for them. A detailed government notification is expected to be issued on Thursday or Friday, it is learnt.
A senior Mantralaya official said: “If a school has 100 seats at the entry level, 25 will be reserved for EWS students under the RTE Act. Of these, five seats will be available for SC/ST students, according to a constitutional provision for 20% reservation for these communities.”

“The cabinet decision will give girls preference over boys,” the official said.

So, what will be the quantum of quota for girls? If there are 25 seats available under the RTE Act and an equal number (20) of applicants among boys and girls, then, under the approved system, 20 seats will be given to girl applicants. For the remaining five seats, there will be a lottery among the applications received from boys. “If the number of applications from girls is more than the seats available, the lottery will be held among the girls. The boys will have no scope then,” the official explained.
According to the Supreme Court’s orders, all schools barring unaided minority institutes will have to reserve 25% of entry-level seats for EWS students under the RTE Act. The state government will reimburse a school nearly Rs 10,000 per child per annum. The school management has to bear the remaining expenditure.
The government has appointed Sanjay Deshmukh, director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, as the nodal officer for implementation of the RTE Act.

The Times of India, 24 May 2012

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