The Maharashtra government on Monday threw educational institutions into a tizzy by announcing that from this academic year, starting June, all schools, aided and unaided, across all education boards must set aside 25% seats in their pre-primary and Class 1 sections for economically weak students.
The state's announcement comes on the back of the April 12 SC order, which upheld this provision made in the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
Most schools have already completed admissions for this academic year.
"We completed admissions in November 2011. We don't have seats left," said Kavita Aggrawal, principal of the Malad-based DG Khetan International School.
Though the Centre had given all states time till 2013 to implement the RTE Act, the state has decided to enforce it from this year itself.
"All schools will need to follow the Act this academic year," said CM Prithviraj Chavan after a meeting with state education minister Rajendra Darda to discuss what defines an economically backward class and the management of funds for accommodating these students.
The court had stated that though the judgment applies from the academic year 2012-13, the admissions completed prior to the judgment should not be disturbed or re-opened.
"Majority of seats were not filled when the court delivered its judgment," a state education official said.
Education department officials said they are meeting the CM on Tuesday to thrash out the details.