The Navodaya Vidyalayas will be exempted from the Right to Education Act. With this excuse the 444 Navodaya Vidyalas are excused from the implications of RTE provisions like no-screening and giving 25% reservation to children from economically weaker section will not be applicable, across country. These schools will be treated as specified category schools. The HRD ministry had earlier sought the opinion of former Chief Justice of India A S Anand, who said Navodaya Vidyalayas are special category schools. Later, even the Attorney General also gave a similar opinion. The law ministry while agreeing with AG's opinion had said instead of issuing notification that Navodaya Vidyalayas are separate category, the RTE Act should be amended.
The rational behind exempting the Navodya Vidyalaya from the the RTE Act is that first of all they begin from class VI and not class I. Secondly, these schools have 75% of seat reservation for rural children. Seats are also reserved for children from SC and ST communities in proportion to their population in the district, but not less than the national average. One-third of the seats are for girl students and 3% of the seats are for disabled children. Till class IX there is no fee, and from IX to XII, Rs 200 is charged per month. Navodaya Vidyalaya has argued that since these schools already cater primarily to poor rural children, there is no reason for it to give 25% reservation.
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