RTE Admission Process A Farce In Pune As Wealthy Parents Forge Documents

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Pune, 1st May 2023: Pune has witnessed an unprecedented scandal, with wealthy professionals such as lawyers, builders, doctors, and businessmen securing admission for their children under the garb of the Right To Education (RTE) provision.

It is a sad state of affairs that approximately 30 percent of students have managed to gain admission through this fraudulent means, with many hailing from the suburbs of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Their parents have submitted false addresses and fake income certificates to deceive the admission authorities.

To make matters worse, the involvement of government officials in this racket has been alleged.

The RTE Act, a well-intentioned provision implemented by the Central Government, aimed to provide quality education to children from the poor, deprived, and weaker sections. 25 percent of seats in good schools were reserved for them, with the admission process being online and conducted through a lottery system.

The admission process under the RTE Act is supposed to be a fair and transparent process, with the selection of students being done through a lottery system. The shortlisted children’s documents are verified by a committee in each taluka, and the list of selected students is sent to the respective schools. However, many parents have alleged that the lottery process is merely a farce, and the children of the rich are being given admission instead of the poor.

The unscrupulous modus operandi adopted by these affluent parents and their accomplices is nothing short of shameful. False proofs of an annual income less than Rs 1 lakh and fake domicile certificates are forged, along with rent agreements. The admission is then granted based on these documents, thereby depriving the underprivileged students of their right to education. It has been alleged that the wealthy are colluding with government officials and education barons to perpetrate this fraud.

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The racket does not just involve wealthy parents but also officials and self-styled education barons. It is crucial to identify and bring to book the culprits who are denying the underprivileged students their right to education.

Mukund Kirdat, coordinator of the AAP Parents Union, has suggested that the RTE Verification committee members cross-verify all the documents, such as annual income, rent agreements, and other documents. Furthermore, he has suggested that the verification process should include duplication and double-applicant cross-verification to prevent such malpractices.

Jayshree Deshpande, president of the Pune Parents Association, has advocated for on-spot verification of residential proof, aadhaar card, and bank details of all applicants. Her suggestion involves meeting with the state education commissioner and the primary education director to thoroughly examine the aadhaar cards and bank details of all applicants who raise suspicion. It is inconceivable that such a racket could run without the connivance of education department officers.

Sandhya Gaikwad, primary education officer, has assured the public that the RTE admission process is underway, and the verification committee will examine all essential documents. If they find any suspicious applicants, they will scrutinize all their documents, and violators will face strong action.

Three conditions need to be met for admission under the RTE Act. The first condition requires a family’s annual income to be within Rs 1 lakh. The second condition stipulates that no income certificate requirement is needed for children from disadvantaged groups. The third condition requires that the admitted student should be residing near the school.


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