At present, there are 1,059 minority schools in the State

With the State Cabinet deciding to change the criterion for granting minority status to primary schools, hundreds of schools across the State are likely to become eligible for minority status in the coming months.

This would also mean that the number of seats for children belonging to underprivileged sections in private schools under the RTE would reduce as minority schools are exempted from admitting students under the quota.

As per the details available with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), at present, there are 1,059 minority schools, of which 160 schools are in Bangalore Urban.

With 177, Mangalore accounts for the highest number of minority schools.

Court stay

A large number of applications of schools, which had applied for minority status were put on the back burner as the definition on minority schools was stayed by the High Court of Karnataka.

The BJP government in July 2012 had notified that a minority school should have 75 per cent intake of students of a notified minority community. On June 13 this year, the State Cabinet decided to reduce the intake to 25 per cent.

Explaining the future course of action, Mohammad Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said that once the new guidelines were drafted, the stay order issued by the High Court could be vacated. “Following that, the Directorate of Urdu and Other Minority Language Institutions under the Department of Public Instruction will examine all the parameters and give minority status tag to schools that are eligible,” he said.

New rule welcomed

Meanwhile, D.Z. Gulshad Ahmed, president of the Karnataka Unaided Minorities Schools Management Association welcomed the new rule. However, he said there was a need for the government to be wary while awarding minority status as several schools now wanted to claim minority status to be exempted from providing admission under the RTE quota.

However, Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA) termed the new rule unsatisfactory. In a press release, KUSMA said the new definition would only recognise those minorities which are sizeable in any given locality and it would neglect the smaller minorities.

“Such discrimination against smaller minorities would plainly be unconstitutional,” the release said.

More In: Karnataka | National