The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has unveiled the ‘Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High School in Targeted Areas’ (SHRESHTA), a transformative initiative aimed at enhancing education and uplifting the socio-economic status of scheduled castes (SC). This visionary scheme is designed to extend the reach of government development programs and bridge service gaps in areas of the education sector predominantly inhabited by SC populations.
Empowering SC Students through Quality Education
The SHRESHTA scheme’s core objective is to select approximately 3,000 meritorious SC students annually and grant them admission to some of the finest private residential schools across the country. This initiative, as stated in the official press release, seeks to create an environment that fosters the holistic and socio-economic development of SC children, ultimately paving the way for a brighter future. At its heart, the program encourages collaboration between high-quality residential schools and grant-in-aid institutions run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Two Distinct Implementation Approaches
The first category comprises top CBSE/State Board-affiliated private residential schools. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will administer the National Entrance Test for SHRESHTA (NETS), selecting a predetermined number of exceptional SC students annually from various States and Union Territories (UTs). These selected students will then be admitted to the leading private residential schools affiliated with the CBSE/State Boards for their education from Class 9 to 12. A selection committee will identify these schools based on the outstanding performance of their students, with institutions boasting a pass rate of over 75 percent for classes 10 and 12 over the past three years being chosen.