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Eklavya Model Residential Schools

Context

The Narendra Modi-led government is pushing to set up 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) for tribal students — one each in every sub-district that has at least a 20,000-odd Scheduled Tribe population, which must be 50% of the total population in that area.

  • The government is persisting with its mission despite the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Ministry noting this year that the population criteria was “impractical” and needed an “immediate review”.

Relevance:

GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Eklavya Model Residential Schools
  2. Objectives of EMRS
  3. Features of EMRS

About Eklavya Model Residential Schools:

  • EMRS started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional education courses and get employment in various sectors.
  • Across the country, as per census 2011 figures, there are 564 such sub-districts out of which there is an EMRS in 102 sub-districts.
  • As per revised 2018 scheme, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an EMRS by the year 2022.
  • These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

What is the current status?

  • The Tribal Affairs Ministry insists on maintaining the new criteria.
  • Ministry officials said that as of November, a total of 688 schools have been sanctioned, of which 392 are functional.
  • Of the 688, 230 have completed construction and 234 are under construction, with 32 schools still stuck due to land acquisition issues.
  • As for serving less dense tribal populations, Minister of Tribal Affairs said that the government will take care of it after the targetted 740 schools under these criteria are built.
Objectives of EMRS:
  • Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS. Students will be empowered to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a larger context.
  • Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI and XII, and those in standards VI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met,
  • Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.
  • Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life.

Features of EMRS

  • Admission to these schools will be through selection/competition with suitable provision for preference to children belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups, first-generation students, etc.
  • Sufficient land would be given by the State Government for the school, playgrounds, hostels, residential quarters, etc., free of cost.
  • The number of seats for boys and girls will be equal.
  • In these schools, education will be entirely free.

-Source: The Hindu


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