Government Launches Shreshta Scheme To Provide Quality Education To Scheduled Caste Students

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By Education Today

Posted on October 10, 2023


2 min read

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The “Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas” (SHRESHTA) was developed by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in a significant move meant to advance education and promote the socioeconomic advancement of Scheduled Castes (SCs). In areas primarily occupied by SC groups within the education sector, this initiative’s main objective is to increase the impact of government development programs and close service gaps, according to an official statement from the ministry.

In order to ensure that SC students have a brighter future, SHRESHTA “envisions the creation of a conducive environment for the socio-economic upliftment and comprehensive development of SC students.” The main aim of the program is to promote cooperation between residential high schools that provide high-quality education and grant-in-aid institutions run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The implementation of the system is divided into two different modes. The best private residential schools that are associated with the CBSE and State Board are the SHRESHTA institutions. In accordance with this approach, a predetermined number of exceptional SC students will be chosen each year from among the States and Union Territories (UTs) via the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS), administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The children will subsequently be accepted to the top private residential schools connected to the CBSE/State Boards to complete their ninth through twelfth grade education. A selection committee chooses these schools based on their exceptional performance; schools boasting more than 75% pass rates for classes 10 and 12 over the previous three years are chosen for the admittance.

Approximately 3,000 SC students, with parents whose annual income falls within the 2.5 lakh limit, will be chosen each year through a national-level test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). These students will be provided with a range of school choices based on their merit. Notably, the scheme covers all fees for each student, including both school fees (tuition fees) and hostel fees (mess charges). The specified admissible fees for each class are as follows: 9th: ₹ 1,00,000; 10th: ₹ 1,10,000; 11th: ₹ 1,25,000; 12th: ₹ 1,35,000, as detailed in the press release.

The program also includes a bridging course in the chosen institutions, focusing on the unique academic requirements of students and assisting them in adjusting to the academic environment. The Ministry will regularly check on the students’ progress while the Department will also cover the cost of this bridge course, which works out to 10% of the annual price.