The Department of Social Welfare will set up 34 Atal Bihari Vajpayee Modern Residential English-medium Schools for children in classes 6 to 12 from the next academic year. These are completely funded by the State government.

The two years of pre-university classes will have only science subjects for boosting the morale of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and minorities to take up professional courses such as medicine and engineering.

Speaking to The Hindu, Principal Secretary E. Venkataiah said that the government wants to run these schools on the lines of the Navodaya model schools.

While Scheduled Castes will get 50 per cent reservation, it will be 25 for Scheduled Tribes. OBCs and minorities will get 12.5 per cent each. The departments of Social Welfare, Backward Classes and Minority Affairs are funding the schools.

Students in Morarji Desai Residential Schools for boys and Kittur Rani Channamma Schools for girls in the State, funded by the Union government, are taught both in English and Kannada mediums. There are 542 of them — 268 Scheduled Castes, 60 Scheduled Tribes, 53 minorities and 161 OBCs. Students who complete SSLC here are admitted to pre-university courses set up in the district headquarters.

He said that school complexes would be built on an area of 15-20 acres spending Rs. 128 crore in all. The deputy commissioners had been asked to allot land and if it was not available, they would acquire it.

In addition to the 20 schools approved to be set up in six districts of Gulbarga division, it was decided to add eight more. Two schools each would be started in three divisions, including Mysore and Bangalore, in the coming academic year. Each school would have two sections of 40 students each.

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