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Explained: What is the MP Quota in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Why an Attempt to Scrap it?

Under this MP quota for Kendriya Vidyalayas, MPs and ministers often receive a large number of admission requests, many of which, they claim, are hard to turn down.

Updated: March 28, 2022 12:39 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Rajashree Seal

KV Admission 2021: As per the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, candidates seeking admission to Class 1 in the academic session 2021-22 needs to fulfil the age criteria at first.

New Delhi: Every academic year, all Member of Parliament (MP) of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has provisions to recommend 10 students for admission in Kendriya Vidyalaya. And, like any other discretionary quota, this special MP quota has also led to many controversies. Following this, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had last week urged the Lok Sabha to collectively debate and decide whether the MP quota in Kendriya Vidyalaya admissions should continue or be scrapped.

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Following Pradhan’s appeal, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had suggested that there could be an all-party meeting to deliberate over the matter. “Let the minister hold a meeting with the leaders of political parties in the House to decide whether the MPs quota in central schools should be ended. Why should we have this discriminatory quota? A decision will be taken after discussions with the leaders of the parties,” Birla said.

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What are Kendriya Vidyalayas/Central Schools?

Kendriya Vidyalayas or Central Schools are educational institutions administered and run by the Ministry of Education (MoE). These educational institutions were started in 1963 on the recommendation of the Second Central Pay Commission for the children of transferable Central government employees, including Defence and paramilitary personnel. The main objective of establishing Kendriya Vidyalayas was to ensure that the education of children of Central government employees do not get hampered on account of frequent transfer of their parents. At present, there are around 1,248 Kendriya Vidyalayas across the nation where over 14 lakhs students study. Seats in Kendriya Vidyalayas are in much demand as these schools offer subsidised quality education and have maintained an excellent academic track record. All Kendriya Vidyalayas are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the quality of teaching is kept reasonably high by an appropriate teacher-pupil ratio.

What is the MP quota in Kendriya Vidyalaya admissions and why was it introduced?

The Kendriya Vidyalayas are managed by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education (MoE). In 1975, KVS introduced a special scheme allowing a fixed quota of admissions to each member of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. This special scheme was announced to give more discretionary powers to MPs to help them serve their constituents in a better way.

Under this special quota, an MP can refer students for admission, however, these recommendations are only limited to Classes 1 to 9, and only for those children whose parents belong to the member’s constituency. Post its introduction, the MP quota has undergone several changes and was also discontinued on at least two occasions. Earlier, an MP could recommend two admissions in an academic year, which was increased to five in 2011, six in 2012, and 10 in 2016. Currently, with 543 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 245 in the Rajya Sabha, 7,880 admissions are possible against this quota every year.

Apart from the MP quota, there was another quota named the Union Education Minister’s ‘discretionary quota’ which allowed the recommendation of 450 students for admission in each academic year. However, last year in August, the Central government scrapped the Education Minister’s discretionary quota for admissions to Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Admission Process under MP’s quota

A maximum of 10 students can be admitted through MP recommendation in Kendriya Vidyalayas per academic year. For admission, an MP needs to send a coupon to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and MoE from his/her office with detailed information about the child and parents. The list of shortlisted candidates is put up on the KVS website. Once a student’s name appears on the list, the formal admission process begins. Students or their parents have to take a print-out of the coupon with other relevant documents, such as birth certificates, address proofs, transfer certificates, etc., and submit them to the school. The fee challan is then raised and once paid, he/she is formally admitted to Kendriya Vidyalaya under the MP quota.

Why is the MP quota back in the news?

The admissions under the MP quota are in the news now after an issue was raised by Congress MP Manish Tewari who said the 10 seat quota for the MPs is inadequate as they receive a lot of requests for recommendations for central schools seats. Tewari said the quota should either end or be enhanced.

“Each of us represents 15-20 lakh people and each constituency has at least 35-40 lakh people…I want to humbly submit that it creates a lot of inconvenience for us. Because those who are denied get angry with us. I have a request: either you enhance the quota from 10 to 50 or do away with it,” he had said.

Recently, BJP MP Sushil Modi also demanded abolition of admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas through the discretionary quota of 10 seats for each MP and 17 for the Management Commitee Chairman every academic year. He highlighted that 29,000 admissions take place through discretionary quota of MPs and the sponsoring authority. “As a result, 7,880 admissions are executed through the MPs’ quota and if the admissions under the Chairman’s quota are included, the number surges to 29,000. Moreover, a discretionary quota in admissions lacks transparency or adherence to meritocracy, thus being susceptible to corruption. The spirit of such discretion is undemocratic and hence must be retired,” he said.

There’s a flagrant disregard of the constitutional provision of reservations — the 50 per cent constitutionally mandated reservation for SC, ST and OBCs is ignored in the exercise of the admissions quota, he said. “As a consequence, due to this quota we have been depriving about 16,000 students of marginalized comm ties and disadvantaged sections from their constitutional right to reservation in admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas,” Modi said. He urged the government to scrap the quota entirely rather than enhancing it.

Why have governments tried to scrap the quotas?

Under this quota, MPs and ministers often receive a large number of admission requests, many of which, they claim, are hard to turn down. Due to this, admissions have often exceeded the quota size. As per reports, in 2018-19, 8,164 students were admitted against the sanctioned strength of 7,880 and 9,402 students were taken in against the Education Minister’s quota of 450. These excess admissions distort the student-teacher ratio in these schools and deprive meritorious students of an opportunity to study in a Kendriya Vidyalaya as a result of which governments have been attempting to scrap the MP quota for once and all.

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