From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Eklavya Model School
Mains level : Not Much
A Parliamentary panel has refuted that 20,000 ST people, who make up at least 50% of the total population criteria is “impractical” to build new Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS).
What are Eklavya Schools?
- EMRS started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to Scheduled Tribes (ST) children in remote areas in order.
- It aims to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional educational courses and get employment in various sectors.
- The schools focus not only on academic education but on the all-round development of the students.
- Each school has a capacity of 480 students, catering to students from Class VI to XII.
- Hitherto, grants were given for construction of schools and recurring expenses to the State Governments under Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution.
- Eklavya schools are on par with Navodaya Vidyalaya and have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
Features of Eklavya Schools
- 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.
What is the population-based criteria?
- The Tribal Affairs Ministry plans to build EMRS on 15 acres of land in all sub-districts which have ST communities of more than 20,000 people, who make up at least 50% of their total population.
- Wherever density of ST population is higher in identified Sub-Districts (90% or more), it is proposed to set up Eklavya Model Day Boarding School (EMDBS) on an experimental basis.
Issues with this criteria
- There are difficulties in identifying and acquiring lands in several tribal districts.
- Especially in forested or hilly areas, a contiguous 15-acre plot is hard to find.
- This criterion would also deprive scattered ST populations of the benefit of the Eklavya schools.
- For most of the places for EMRSs, there is no land available inside the village or the block.