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Over 200 kids who lost parents to Covid admitted to KVs, Modi govt tells Parliament

Special quota under PM CARES for Children scheme was introduced this year after quota for pupils recommended by MPs was scrapped.

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New Delhi: A total of 220 children who lost their parents to Covid-19 have been granted admission into centrally-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) under the PM Cares for Children Scheme, Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan told Parliament Monday. 

The scheme was launched in May last year for “comprehensive care and protection” of children who lost both parents to the pandemic. A special quota for such pupils was introduced this year after the quota for pupils recommended by MPs was scrapped.

“Special provisions have been made in the KVS admission guidelines 2022-23 for admissions to the children who have lost their parent(s) to [the] Covid pandemic, over and above the sanctioned class strength,” Pradhan wrote in his reply to a question by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya.

The reply also specified that compared to 17 children in Uttar Pradesh, 16 in Karnataka and 15 in Odisha, only one student each in Punjab, Manipur and Chhattisgarh was granted admission to KVs under this scheme.

Kendriya Vidyalayas are highly sought after as they are run by the central government and charge low fees for what is seen as quality education. Their monthly tuition fees range from Rs 200 to Rs 400. 

Also Read: How Delhi govt’s ‘Mission Buniyaad’ improved literacy, numeracy of students in MCD schools

Education minister, MPs’ quotas scrapped

Surya, the MP from Bengaluru South, had sought details of the number of seats that were freed as a result of the Union government’s decision to scrap quotas for MPs and the education minister to recommend names for admissions to KVs.

In his reply to the query, Pradhan wrote, “In order to bring qualitative changes in the system, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has withdrawn some of the provisions that were discretionary such as [the] quota of [the] Minister of Education, Members of Parliament, chairman, etc. These quotas were over and above the sanctioned class strength and hence no seats have been freed.”

He added that with the reduction of these quotas, KVs would be able to ensure a healthy student-teacher ratio.

The KVS had in 2021 scrapped the quota for the Union education minister — also the KVS’s chairman — to recommend names for admission to KVs. Similarly, in April this year, the Centre did away with another quota that allowed MPs to recommend the names of 10 students from their respective constituencies for admission to KVs.

Data analysis by ThePrint found that between 2017 and 2020, 16,000-20,000 excess students were admitted to Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) each year on the basis of the quotas granted to education ministers and MPs.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: Draft bill almost ready, single higher education regulator could become a reality this year


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