To ensure that students from Scheduled Caste communities have access to high-quality education, the Central Government has unveiled the revised scheme known as the Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA). This initiative was launched back in June 2022.
It is being implemented in two modes; the first mode involves the selection of meritorious SC students (whose parents’ income is below Rs. 2.5 Lakh per year) for admission in classes 9 and 11, in the best private residential schools affiliated with CBSE or the State Board for completion of their education till the 12th grade. Such selection is made through an entrance test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is specified that the school fees and hostel charges would be borne by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Further, schools could offer bridge courses to ensure that students admitted under the scheme catch up with the rest of the class and easily adapt to the school’s environment. An amount of up to 10% of the annual fee would also be borne by the Department towards the fee for bridge courses.
Under the second mode, NGO-operated schools and hostels receiving grant-in-aid will continue to get assistance under the scheme provided that the prescribed eligibility criteria are followed.