EDUCATION IN BENGAL: Legal opinion on pupil quota

EDUCATION IN BENGAL: Legal opinion on pupil quota – reimbursement by the Bengal Govt (in advance *?!!) for 35 percent students at absurd government rates, quite ridiculous ?!! – A question of minority rights, where English is the INTERNATIONAL demanded norm, once almost banned under Jyoti Basu ?!!

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Calcutta, Oct. 2: Heads of Anglo-Indian schools in the state have decided to take legal opinion on whether the provision of reserving 25 per cent seats for underprivileged students was binding on them.

The right to education act makes it mandatory for all schools to set aside a quarter of their seats for poor students who cannot be charged fees.

However, the heads of Anglo-Indian schools have said their institutions already have to reserve 10 per cent seats for students from Christian and Anglo-Indian communities.

“It is difficult for us to follow the 25 per cent reservation provision. The Anglo-Indian schools are already required to provide free education to 10 per cent of their students. If we have to keep aside another 25 per cent seats for underprivileged students, it would mean we would have to offer free education to 35 per cent of our students,” said Gilian Rosemary Hart, the principal of Welland Gouldsmith School.

Last Wednesday, at a meeting with the heads of 57 private English-medium schools, the state government had made it clear to the Anglo-Indian institutions that the 25 per cent quota would not include the pre-existing 10 per cent reservation.

The principals want to take legal advice to confirm if the 25 per cent reservation provision was binding on them because Article 30 of the Constitution gives minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions.

The principal of an Anglo-Indian school said: “The government has done its job by asking us to follow the reservation provision. But we need to find out if such a rule can be binding on minority institutions like ours. We also need to verify whether the legislation is an infringement on our minority rights.”

Although the government will reimburse the cost of providing free education to underprivileged children between six and 14 years, the Anglo-Indian schools want to know who will pay for the students below or above the stipulated age limits.

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From The Telegraph Correspondent

Calcutta, Oct. 2: The process of appointing the first vice- chancellor of Presidency University will be complete by October 6, governor M.K. Narayanan said today.

When reporters requested him to disclose the name of the vice-chancellor, Narayanan said: “Please ask the government.”

The governor had gone to Calcutta University today to inspect preparations for the visit of the Bhutan king there on Thursday. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will deliver the varsity’s convocation address.


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