Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Thursday demanded that the Union government exempt schools from the annual six-cylinder limit set on subsidised LPG. This is to ensure that the midday meal scheme of the State government, under which nearly 70 lakh children are fed every day, is not affected by the cap on subsidised cylinders.

Mr. Kageri told journalists here that one lakh cooks prepare food for children in 50,000 centres and the government spends Rs. 900 crore every year on this scheme. The scheme would be in jeopardy if the cap on subsidised cylinders was not relaxed for schools, he said.

A report on the possible impact of this restriction was being prepared and it would be submitted to the Union government, requesting a relaxation for schools, he said.

On the reservation of 25 per cent of seats in private schools for children from weaker sections of society under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Minister said the measure had cost the State exchequer Rs. 50 crore even though only 50 per cent of these seats had been filled. In view of this additional burden, the State was requesting the Union government to reimburse the cost, he said.

Mr. Kageri urged the Centre to make its stand clear on the language policy in education and file its statement before the Supreme Court at the earliest.

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