Children in Maharashtra & 7 other states are losers due to anomalies in Education System
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We have whatsapp group by the name JAGRUK PALAK (CONSCIOUS/ AWARE + AWAKE PARENTS), who have faced issues for Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) entrance exams for admission of their sons from VII to VIII standard. Also there are some parents whose children get 3 attempts for taking NDA exams as against 5 attempts for students of other states. UPSC conducts these exams twice a year and loss of an year results in two lesser attempts.
ROOT CAUSE OF ISSUE
Age of admission to first standard in all schools in Maharashtra is six years. However, age for admission to first standard in 21 states and six union territories of India is five years.
As a result of this anomaly, students of Maharashtra lose many opportunities in education, career, promotions etc.
Similar issue is faced by students in Bihar, Meghalay, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Lakshdweep. THUS THE ISSUE AFFECTS ALMOST 22-23% OF INDIAN FAMILIES RESIDING IN THESE STATES & UT. EVEN MAHARASHTRA CM’s DAUGHTER IS IN THE SAME BOAT ! THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS NOT JUST CHILDREN OF WHATSAPP GROUP MEMBERS BUT ALSO THE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILIES OF THE DECISION MAKERS TO WHOM THE PETITION IS ADDRESSED. SURPRISINGLY EVEN THEY ARE NOT AWARE OF THE ISSUE AFFECTING THE CHILDREN IN THEIR FAMILIES.
NUMBER OF STUDENTS LOSING OPPORTUNITIES WILL SWELL WITH EACH PASSING ACADEMIC YEAR, IF THE ISSUE IS NOT RESOLVED NOW.
Representations have been sent by speed post to President of India, Prime Minister of India, HRD minister, Defence Minister, Chief Minister Maharashtra, Education Minister Maharashtra and Chief Minister of Bihar and CMs & Education Ministers of other affected states.
Students who have taken admission to standard 1 at age of six ( as prescribed by Government of Maharashtra), will be at loss of one year as they would reach upper age limit prescribed by UPSC, with preparation of one year less than students of other states as students of other states join their primary schools at an age of five years. UPSC conducts exams for at least 29 All India level government services.
There are many more opportunities that students of Maharashtra miss and get lesser number of attempts for careers like NDA, IMA etc and IAS, IPS, IFS.
Admission to important institutions should be dependent on the person's ability and losing opportunity should not be due to the lacuna/ anomaly in the system. But unfortunately this is happening in the present system.
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA IS FRAMED TO SECURE THE EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY TO ALL THE CITIZENS.
BUT FIXING OF DIFFERENT AGE CRITERIA BY DIFFERENT STATES AND UNION TERRITORIES IS RESULTING IN INEQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITIES AGAINST THE INTENT AND SPIRIT OF THE CONSTITUTION.
Writ Petition was filed in High Court of Bombay- WP No 12800/2016. Interim order was in our favour and my son was allowed to take Sainik School Entrance exam. Other students who faced the same issue have not able to appear till date. I continued to pursue the matter with concerned decision makers. Subsequently, Sainik Schools Society, under Ministry of Defence has increased upper age limit for admissions to Sainik Schools by one year for admissions in 2019. However, the cut off date for computing age still remains an issue. It is fixed as 31st March of the year in which admission is sought. However, this leads to exclusion of children born between 1st April and 2nd July of the year in which admissions are sought. Even this anomaly needs to be rectified by fixing cut of date as July 2 in the year in which admission is sought.
A) IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR STUDENTS OF AFFECTED STATES LIKE MAHARASHTRA & 7 OTHER STATES & LAKSHDWEEP
Anomaly in fixing of age for admission to class 1 is attributed to the education system by the states & UTs, where an individual has no control.
In order to abide by the principle of ‘EQUALITY OF OPPROTUNITY’ as per Constitution of India, we request all the concerned authorities to increase upper age limit for students of Maharashtra & other affected states by one full year.
Names of exams and age limits as on date and relaxation in age limits for students of Maharashtra and 7 other states & Lakshdweep are stated in tabular format in attachment 'Matrix'. These are RIMC, Sainik Schools, Military Schools, NDA, IAS, IPS, IFS etc
We request that the upper age limit for RIMC exams should be 14 years for students in Maharashtra & 7 other states as against 13 years fixed at present.
We earnestly request all concerned authorities to look in to the issue on priority at the earliest and resolve the issue.
We all will be grateful if the relaxation in the upper limit for RIMC exams is granted by July – August, 2018 so that our children will be able to take the RIMC exams in December 2018 for admission to July 2019 session.
B) LONG TERM SOLUTION
To overcome this unconstitutional anomaly and to secure equality of opportunity for all the students of the country, the age of admission to the school should be 5 years and, the date for determining the age should be July 2, which is related to the date of computation of age for institutions of national importance.
It would be prudent to implement this change from academic year 2019-2020.
It is suggested that a committee of experts be established at the earliest to fix the age of admission to pre-primary schools, primary school ( class 1) and to issue guidelines, frame rules for fixing of age criteria for admissions to various institutes , specially during the transition phase from disarray to uniformity.
C) EXCEPTIONS TO GUIDELINES/ RULES TO AVOID BRAIN DRAIN
It may be noted that there are teen aged students in states Andhra Pradesh who are doing their doctorate. Hence, it is suggested that the guidelines are not very rigid and are flexible enough to accommodate students who are extremely intelligent.
If the rules/ guidelines are very rigid, then brilliant students may prefer to study abroad rather than getting frustrated in rigid system here. Hence mechanism should be devised to cater to these intellectuals/ geniuses.
If this happens, the nation could lose the cream of the society/ intellectuals and few years later, we may be left only with consolation that the achiever is a person of Indian origin but the country of their residence reaps the benefits of their talent and the news paper articles about their achievements abroad are published in Indian newspapers !
In such scenario, those who leave the country due to faulty/ rigid system would not return to India when the nation needs them if the system here doesn’t attend when they are/ were in need, due to loss of faith in the system.
WE LOOK FORWARD FOR APPROPRIATE NOTIFICATIONS TO BE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE & OTHER AUTHORITIES INCLUDING UPSC, INCREASING THE UPPER AGE LIMIT BY ONE FULL YEAR, FOR RIMC ( RASHTRIYA INDIAN MILITARY COLLEGE), SAINIK SCHOOLS, RASHTRIYA MILITARY SCHOOLS, NDA, IMA & OTHER CAREER OPTIONS VIZ IAS, IPS, IFS FOR STUDENTS IN MAHARASHTRA & OTHER AFFECTED STATES + UT BEFORE 15 JULY 2018 SO THAT THE CANDIDATES ARE ELIGIBLE TO FILL UP FORMS FOR EXAMS SCHEDULED IN NOVEMBER- DECEMBER 2018 & SUBSEQUENT EXAMS.
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