33% available seats under RTE will remain vacant as only half of them could be approved, the rest did not satisfy the eligibility criteria 

Mumbai : As much as 33% of seats that were available for admissions under the Right to Education Act (RTE) in the city will have to remain vacant this year.

317 schools in the city had registered for admitting children under the Act into pre-primary and std 1. The total number of seats available in these schools was 9,664. Of these a maximum of only 6,409 seats will be filled.

This is because though 12,794 applications were received from parents, only half of them, that is, 6,409 could be approved. The remaining did not satisfy the eligibility criteria.

To be eligible, the child must be from a weaker section or disadvantaged group such as Vimukta Jatis and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT), Other Backward Classes (OBC), Special Backward Classes (SBC), religious minorities, Scheduled Tribes (SC), Scheduled tribes (ST) or be a child with disability. The annual income of the parent must be below Rs 1 lakh.

While applying for admission, the parents have to submit proof of birth, income, caste, disability and proof of residence.

Admission process kicks off

Of the 6,409 children whose applications were approved by the education department, from Wednesday onwards when the online admission process started, 3,411 applicants have been allocated schools till Thursday.

This was the first round of admissions. The remaining children will be allocated schools in the subsequent second or third rounds.

The education department sends an SMS to parents of the children mentioning the school or schools that the child has been allocated. Some children get allocated more than one school from which parents can choose. If the parents do not choose any among these schools in the first round, the application is considered automatically for the second round. On the other hand, if no school is allocated to a child in first round, a message is sent to parents to inform that.

The online admission system is operated by National Informatics Centre (NIC), the Union government’s web services organisation. The government has also appointed a company to supervise the admission process undertaken by NIC.

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