In this season of quotas and clamour for more quotas, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has set a precedent by divesting its chairman — HRD Minister Kapil Sibal — of discretionary powers in admissions to Kendriya schools across India.
The KVS pressed the delete button on the quota in the run-up to digitalising admissions to central (Kendriya) schools by the next academic session. It acted on the prompting of Sibal who did not want to retain the “questionable legacy” inherited from his predecessors — the BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi and Congress veteran Arjun Singh.
The ministerial quota stood at 1,200 and the MPs’ at 1,580 at the rate of two requests per academic session for each member of both houses of Parliament. The Sangathan’s decision adds to the general pool a total of 2,780 seats for siblings of government employees mandated by the KVS charter the first right to study in the 900-odd Kendriya schools countrywide.
Statistics assembled by the HRD ministry show admissions in 2008-09 against the ministerial and the MPs’ quota, which has also been abandoned, were largely of children other than employees of PSUs and central and state governments. “Private applicants will henceforth get entry against vacancies, if any, after accommodating children of government employees,” said a senior HRD official.
The omnibus ministerial/ MPs’ quota also provided for state-specific sub-quotas for equitable largesse, sources told HT. But even there, big cities and states got precedence over smaller townships and provinces. In one academic year, there were 900 admissions from Delhi against its share of 200, 159 from Bihar against 50, Tamil Nadu 132 against 50 and Chhattisgarh 136 against Madhya Pradesh’s pre-bifurcation quota of 60.
In the same illustrative example, northeastern states of Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh drew a blank besides Haryana.
“Such trends buttressed the case for putting an end to the whimsical arrangement,” the official said.
When introduced for the first time under Joshi, the discretion gave the minister control over 1,000 admissions against requests from individual applicants, an overwhelming majority of whom were not government employees.
Singh increased his quota from 1,000 to 1,200 during UPA-I. He filled up all but 200 seats in 2008-09 before making way for Sibal in the UPA’s second incarnation.