The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons. To begin with, the CCEA has approved a financial cost of Rs. 2242.03 crore during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for rolling out the revamped scheme.
There will be an Autonomous Society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs similar to Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to run the EMRSs.
Upgradation of already sanctioned EMRSs on a need basis with unit cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 5 crores per school.
Setting up sports facilities in 163 tribal dominated districts at a unit cost of Rs. 5 crores each to be constructed by the year 2022. Financial provisions for 15 sports facilities during 2018-19 and 2019-20 has been agreed to.
Enhancing the grants for maintenance which are admissible every five years from Rs 10 lakh to Rs.20 Lakh.
102 of such blocks are already having EMRSs. Thus, 462 new EMRSs will be established in these blocks across the country.
The new scheme envisages an increase in construction cost of EMRS from current Rs.12 crore to Rs. 20 crores to improve the construction quality and ensure better facilities for the students.
The recurring cost to be enhanced to Rs. 1,09,000/- per student per year from the existing Rs. 61500/- per student per year from 2019-20 onwards.
Additional 20% would be provided towards construction cost in North East, hilly areas, difficult areas and areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.
EMRS is an excellent approach for imparting quality education to ST children. Apart from school building including hostels and staff quarters, provision fora playground, students’ computer lab, teacher resource room etc. are also included in the EMRSs. This initiative will benefit ST students immensely.
By focusing on specific intervention to cater to the educational needs of STs, the quality of the life of STs is expected to improve to the level of rest of the social groups and a visible impact by 2021 Census.