Students from rural areas in Hassan are facing tough competition to claim seats for professional courses under the ‘rural quota’ from an unusual quarter: students who have studied in urban areas, including those in elite private schools.

Technical point

This is because many schools, even as they are within Hassan city, are technically seen as being situated in rural areas. As the city has grown, what were earlier defined as ‘rural’ areas are now within city limits.

This is a problem not limited to Hassan, but exists in many expanding cities.

List of places

The State government had announced a list of places that do not fall under the rural category through notifications in 1995-96 and 2006-07. Students of schools, which are located in areas other than the places given in the list, are eligible to claim rural quota.

Vijaya High School at Chikkahonnenahalli, Navodaya Convent at Gavenahalli, Netaji Public School (CBSE) at Vidya Nagara, Christ High School, Chirantana High School at Satyamangala and Kendriya Vidyalaya located at B. Katihalli are in rural areas. These schools are about 3 to 5 km from the heart of Hassan city. Recently, HKS International School came up on the outskirts of the city.

As they are in the gram panchayat limits, the children who study from class 1 to class 10 in these schools are eligible under the rural quota. The students of these schools are by and large residents of Hassan city and they have paid heavy fee and capitation to study.

Better chance

Children of Central government employees study in schools such as Kendriya Vidyalaya. As they score high marks on a par with any urban school, they have better chances of securing seats under rural quota than students from remote rural areas.

“How can you expect those who studied in remote schools in either Sakleshpur or Alur or Arkalgud taluk to compete with students of these well-established schools? Many of the schools offer CBSE syllabus. The genuine rural students miss the opportunity to enjoy rural quota,” pointed out Prasad, father of a PU student in Kenchammana Hoskote in Alur taluk. The students of such schools have been getting rural study certificate duly signed by the head of their respective schools and attestation from the Block Education Officer to claim the quota.

‘Revise notification’

D.T. Puttaraju, Block Education Officer, told The Hindu that for the fact that the schools were located in rural areas, the students were eligible for the rural quota. “Many new localities of Hassan come under neighbouring gram panchayats. The schools established there are rural schools, as per the government’s notification. Unless the government revises the notification, we have to give rural study certificate,” he said.