The annual income ceiling is only one of the several criteria for students to qualify for admission in private schools under the quota created for ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker sections’ by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Chief Educational Officer A. Gnanagowri told The Hindu here on Wednesday that G.O. No. 174, dated November 8, 2011, which outlined the State Governments’ rules for admitting students under the quota, included several groups in these two categories. The ‘disadvantaged groups’ were defined to also include “a child who is an orphan or affected by HIV or a transgender or a child of a conservancy worker” in addition to the definition given in the RTE Act. ‘Weaker sections’ were defined as those with parents or guardians whose annual income was lower than Rs. 2 lakh.

Further, the Central Government had already included in the ‘disadvantaged groups’ category the children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes besides socially and educationally backward classes having a disadvantage owing to various social, cultural, economical and other factors.

She said that the income ceiling would not apply for the disadvantaged groups.

The Chief Educational Officer said that many parents were unaware of documents that had to be submitted. Refuting the allegations that the Department of School Education had not verified the documents of students admitted in private schools, she said that the documents were scrutinised at the beginning of the academic year. As this was the first year of full-fledged implementation of the legislation, there were bound to be some shortfall.