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


In a significant move aimed at advancing education and promoting the socio-economic progress of Scheduled Castes (SCs), the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has introduced the ‘Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas’ (SHRESHTA). According to an official release from the ministry, the primary goal of this initiative is to extend the impact of government development programmes and bridge service gaps in areas predominantly inhabited by SC communities within the education sector.

‘SHRESHTA envisions the creation of a conducive environment for the socio-economic upliftment and comprehensive development of SC students, ensuring a brighter future for them,’ the release reads. The scheme’s core strategy involves fostering collaboration between grant-in-aid institutions managed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and residential high schools offering quality education.

The scheme’s implementation is structured in two distinct modes. First, there are the SHRESHTA schools, which comprise the best CBSE/State Board-affiliated private residential schools. Under this mode, a specified number of outstanding SC students in various States and Union Territories (UTs) will be selected annually through the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS), conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The students will then be admitted to the best private residential schools affiliated with CBSE/State Boards for their education from the 9th to the 12th standard. Selection of these schools is based on their exemplary performance, with schools boasting over a 75 per cent pass rate for classes 10 and 12 over the past three years being chosen by a selection committee for the admission of selected students.

Student selection:

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.

Furthermore, the scheme incorporates a bridge course within the selected schools, targeting the individual academic needs of students and helping them adapt to the school environment. The cost of this bridge course, equivalent to 10 per cent of the annual fee, will also be covered by the Department, with regular monitoring of the students’ progress by the ministry.

Post a commentThe second mode of implementation pertains to NGO/VO Operated Schools/Hostels (EXISTING COMPONENT). This mode specifically applies to schools and hostels operated by voluntary organizations (VOs) and NGOs, offering education up to the 12th standard, as outlined in the official release.