TN tables Bill to lock seats for govt school students

TN tables Bill to provide 7.5% reservation for government school students in professional courses

Committee reported that govt school students require more facilities to pursue their school education

Representative image. Credit: iStock

A bill to provide 7.5 per cent reservation in admission to professional courses like engineering, agriculture, and law for students from government schools was tabled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday.

Tabling the Bill, Chief Minister M K Stalin said the decision to bring a legislation to provide reservation for government school students was taken after it was found that the number of such students getting into engineering, veterinary, agriculture and law courses was “very low.”

As the Bill was introduced in the Assembly, Opposition Leader Edappadi K Palaniswami said the AIADMK “wholeheartedly” supported the legislation as it would benefit more students from the hinterland. The legislation is modelled on the lines of a law that the previous AIADMK government passed by providing 7.5 percent reservation to students from government schools in admissions to medical and dental colleges.

Explaining in detail, Stalin said of 8.5 lakh students who graduated from plus-two in 2019-2020, 3.45 lakh are from government schools. Of the students who joined the prestigious Anna University in various engineering streams in 2020-2021 academic year, only 0.83 percent were from government schools.

“The percentage of students from government schools who got admission in government engineering colleges is 6.31, while it is just 0.44 percent in government-aided colleges. Only 3 percent of those who joined veterinary courses are from government schools, and the percentage for agriculture courses is 4.89,” Stalin told the Assembly.

He said government decided to provide 7.5 per cent reservation after carefully considering the recommendations of the Justice D Murugesan Committee which suggested that reservation up to 10 percent can be accorded to students from government colleges.

The committee’s mandate was to suggest ways to increase enrollment of government school students in professional courses. The reservation will be implemented from the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Commission, according to the legislation, reported that government school students being in a disadvantageous position, require more facilities to pursue their school education and “preferential treatment” in joining various professional courses.

“It is evident from the Commission's report that there exists de facto inequalities between the Government school students and the private school students,” the Bill said, adding that the government has decided to set apart certain percentage of seats on preferential basis to the students, who have studied from sixth to twelfth standard in government schools.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox