Eklavya Model Residential Schools
#GS-02 Social Justice, Education
About Eklavya Model Residential Schools:
- Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) is a scheme for making model residential schools for Indian tribals (ST) across India which was launched in 1997-98.
- The government is pushing to set up 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) for tribal students.
- This means 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.
About the new guidelines:
- Until 2018-19, the scheme was overseen by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs with maximum control of identifying new schools, recruiting, management and admissions lying with State governments.
- The new guidelines gave the Union government more power to sanction schools and manage them.
- A National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS) was set up and entrusted with the management of the State Education Society for Tribal Students (SESTS).
- The new guidelines set a target of setting up an EMRS in every tribal sub-district and introduced a “population criteria” for setting them up.
- The new guidelines also reduced the minimum land requirement from 20 acres to 15 acres.
The concerns about EMRS:
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Ministry noted this year that the population criteria was “impractical” and needed an “immediate review”.
- The Standing Committee in its report noted that a large number of schools were being delayed because the area (15 acre) requirement and the population criteria were making identification and acquisition of land “more cumbersome”, especially in hilly areas, leftwing extremism-affected areas and the northeast.
- It noted that even though the new guidelines provided for relaxations in these areas, other problems with land acquisition continued to persist.
- The Standing Committee noted that the population criteria ran the risk of depriving a “scattered tribal population” of the benefit of EMRS, “which are a means towards their educational empowerment”.
To know more about Eklavya Model Residential Schools click here.