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Talent schools for have-nots mooted

india Updated: Jan 30, 2007 15:32 IST

In a bid to soften opposition to job reservation in private sector, a novel idea has been floated to establish 'Talent Schools' to groom children exclusively from deprived sections to suit the needs of industries.

The initiative mooted by Justice MSA Siddiqui, Chairman of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, would be fully funded by the industry and insulated from government and political interference.

"This is the best way to ignite, energise and empower the downtrodden of our society," Siddiqui said pointing to the opposition to job reservation in the private sector.

The idea was to search for talented students from the deprived sections and provide them with educational facilities from 5th Standard in Talent Schools, he said.

With globalisation taking place in the next 15-20 years, the private sector would be having a dominant role in the economy and the government jobs would be much less compared to private sector, he said adding by this move the private sector could "reap their own crop".

Claiming that already two industrialists have evinced interest in the proposal, he suggested the proposed schools would take children 'only from rural' in the ratio of 40 per cent Scheduled Castes and 20 per cent each from Scheduled Tribes, Minorities and OBCs.

Siddiqui said a society would be registered soon and efforts would be made to obtain land either at Greater Noida or in Gurgaon for setting up first such residential school where everything would be free to those admitted. 

"Initially, students with a specified minimum IQ would be taken in Class V and they would continue upto Class XII," Siddique said.

The identification of such talents would be through a committee consisting of reputed personalities from the field of education, judiciary, academics and administration.

There would be no government control on the school which would be managed by a high powered committee appointed by the industry consisting of eminent personalities, he added.

The blueprint of the project also requested the government to provide tax relief for the amount donated to the Trust both for building the infrastructure and running the schools.

Noting that the government was slowly withdrawing from many areas of direct control and confining itself to a regulatory role, Siddiqui said as a part of its responsibility to the society, the private sector participation would be required for providing adequate opportunities for the deprived sections for achieving their potential, through quality education.

"Since the private sector would be obliged to provide reservation in employment, sooner or later, proactive action on their part can lead to quality material being identified and trained to man private sector jobs," he added.

Pegging the strength of the school at 200 to start with, Siddiqui said that more schools could be established depending on the availability of finance and infrastructure.

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