Published: 22nd March 2022
What The FAQ: What is the MP quota in Kendriya Vidyalayas and why is it coming up again now?
The issue was raised by Congress MP Manish Tewari, who said that the ten-seat quota for each MP is inadequate as every MP receives hundreds of requests from their constituents
Discussions on whether to keep the powers of the Members of Parliament to make recommendations for admissions into Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) — which is under the centre — or if to do away it was underway in the Lok Sabha on Monday, March 21. Speaker Om Birla suggested that there could be an all-party meeting to decide on the issue. It has been agreed that the government will discuss the matter with representatives of political parties in the Parliament.
Let's dissect what KVs are all about, where does the MP quota fit in and today, what the MPs have to say about it.
First of all, here's a crash course on KVs...
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, oversees the 1,248 KVs that are spread across 25 regions in India. There are over 14,35,562 students studying in these central government schools authorised by the Ministry of Education, Government of India and the schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The intention of initiating them was to ensure that children of defence personnel or government employees do not face any educational disadvantages while shifting base frequently.
What is the MP quota in KVs?
Under KVS Special Dispensation Admission Scheme (MP Quota), a Member of Parliament (MP) in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha can recommend a maximum of 10 students every academic year for admission in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Up until 2012, this quota was limited to two seats, it was increased to six seats in 2012 and to ten seats in 2016. Many MPs have time and again said that the quota is disproportionate to the size of the population they represent. They have also contended that it needs to be scrapped to bring greater meritocracy in admission.
How did the discussion on the MP quota begin this time?
The issue was raised by Congress MP Manish Tewari, who said that the ten-seat quota for each MP is inadequate as every MP receives hundreds of requests from their constituents for admissions to central schools. “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.”
What did the education minister say?
Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan went on to suggest that the government can work towards ending the MP quota altogether if there is unanimity in the House about it. "We are people's representatives. We are not representatives of a few," the minister said.
What are other MPs saying?
Prima facie, it seems like most MPs do not want this quota to end. Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra said dropping the quota altogether would not be a good idea. “I represent an area which is on the border and has a lot of BSF personnel and a lot of people with transferable jobs. There is only one Kendriya Vidyalaya there. I am sure many of my colleagues face this trouble every year that the quota of 10 admissions should be increased,' she said. Moitra added, “...The quota of 10 admissions is very small. But to do away with the quota completely would be very difficult."