Orissa Model Tribal Education Society (OMTES) has so far set up 11 Ekalabya Model Residential Schools and manages 19 Educational Complexes; However, KISS is much more effective

The web page of Orissa Model Tribal Education Society (OMTES) is http://www.omtes.org. Following are excerpts from its "Background" page.

The Orissa Model Tribal Education Society (OMTES), a registered Society supported by the ST & SC Development Department, aims to make positive interventions in the field of tribal education. Since its inception in March 2000, it has been instrumental in setting up 11 Ekalabya Model Residential Schools in different parts of the State with assistance from Government of India. Besides that it also manages 19 Educational Complexes set up for providing education to ST Girls belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups. OMTES continues in its endeavour to serve the tribal population of the State by ensuring them to avail best opportunities in education at par with the non tribal population.

Following are some Q & A from its FAQ page.

How the schools are managed at the district level?

A school level management committee headed by the Collector of the respective districts, members including two educationist of the area looks after the overall development of the schools. Here the collector is the chairman and concerned Principal of ERMS is the Member Secretary.

I am a Tribal, what is the benefit the society has for me?

You benefit, when your child qualifies entrance of the school and receives free qualitative education. The society provides for improving the quality of tribal by promoting educational schemes for tribal community and improves the quality of life of tribal by Ashram Schools, Hostels for Tribal Boys Educational complexes, Post- Matric Scholarships and Book Bank Schemes, etc.

Whom do I contact for more information?

For information you are requested to contact ST & SC Development, Govt. of Orissa.

The 11 schools are listed in the page http://www.omtes.org/Yearwise_establishment_EMRS.html. They are in the districts of Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh (3), Rayagada, Koenjhar, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, and Jajpur.

The 19 educational complexes are listed in the page http://www.omtes.org/Yearwise_establishment.html. They are in the districts of Keonjhar (3), Rayagada (2), Nuapara, Mayurbhanj (2), Deogarh, Angul, Kalahandi, Ganjam, Gajapati (3), Malkangiri (2), Sundergarh and Kandhamala. Each of these complexes have a capacity of 250 making a total capacity of 4750.

In contrast, as of today, KISS has a student body of 15,083, which includes 3553  students pursuing +3. KISS had a student body of 1500 in 2005. I am sure the performance of the students is better at KISS than of the students at the OMTES schools and educational complexes.

So the Odisha government should just give land, seed money and grants to KISS and let them establish and manage much larger facilities in the districts with significant tribal students.

In http://www.kiss.ac.in/admission.html it is mentioned that every year KISS gets 30,000 to 40,000 applications per year for admission and admits between 2000-3000 of them. The government should fund KISS so that if not all who apply are admitted at least half of them are admitted.

It is a pity that other states have taken note of KISS and are inviting KISS to open replicas in their states while Odisha does not seem to be taking similar steps. Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer on other states approaching KISS for replicas.

A branch of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has been set up in Bastar, a tribal dominated and Maoist infested region of Chhattisgarh with assistance from the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

An MoU to this effect was signed between the KIIT and the KISS founder Dr Achyuta Samanta and NMDC director GB Joshi in the presence of the NMDC chairman cum managing director Rana Som at the the latter’s Corporate Office in Hyderabad on June 24.

As per the agreement, the NMDC has provided 30 acres of land along with all financial assistance to the KISS in order to set up its replica in Kankar region of north Bastar district in Chhattisgarh. In the first phase, 1000 tribal boys and girls will be admitted in this school. However, a total of 4,000 students from five districts in and around Bastar will get the opportunity of quality education here in course of time.

After Bastar, the Governments of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are keen to set up such model schools bearing all financial implications. They have requested Dr Samanta accordingly.

The page http://www.kiss.ac.in/fmngt.html explains how KISS is funded. The total amount there adds up to 18 crores. If 10 such KISS replicas are established in 10 tribal districts of Odisha at an additional cost of 200 crores/year, that will be the best use of such money for Odisha.

July 8th, 2011

Even generous scholarships are not able to entice good students to pursue science; Only 15% of the available 10,000 INSPIRE fellowships are availed

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

Three years ago when the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scholarships were instituted, the ministry of science and technology had hoped that this would encourage an estimated 10,000 of the top 1% students across all boards in the country every year to take up science at the undergraduate level (not professional courses) and eventually move to research.

Since then, some 8,500 scholarships have gone abegging each year, causing serious concern among ministry officials, who are now thinking of commissioning a study to find out where the "missing" students went….

INSPIRE was designed to attract youth to study science and take up a career in research in the country instead of moving abroad or entering the burgeoning pool of professionals — of both management and science — in the country.

Explaining the calculations used to arrive at the 10,000 figure, a senior ministry official said: "We had done some research and found that the top 1% students of all boards comes to about 30,000-40,000 students. We had hoped that at least a third of these young people would enter science education in streams. But the response has been so poor that we are flummoxed. Either the programme has not received adequate publicity or there is an acute dearth of good students taking up science in the country."

It is the second possibility that the ministry is increasingly veering around to believe in given the overwhelming tendency of good students to take up commerce or economics and simply enter the management stream that is very highly paying and in which there is more "instant gratification" than a career in science where a person may take years to achieve anything substantial.

… The ministry, however, is not ready to compromise on the cut-off marks which is in the 90-91% range for a CBSE student. The second route of entry is for a student who may not have done too well in the boards but secured a high rank in the competitive examinations like JEE and AIEEE yet chooses to take up basic sciences.

As we wrote before efforts need to be made to encourage students at the high school level or even earlier to attract them to science. We had proposed science magnet schools for that. There were reports that the planning commission approved establishment of a few science magnet schools, but we have not heard much about it after that. India needs to establish 100 such science magnet schools across the country at the earliest.

1 comment February 6th, 2011

Planning Commission approves Science Magnet Schools; to be implemented soon and then followed by Arts and Culture Magnet Schools

Update: Apparently the MHRD people driving this project have told the HRD minister regarding the origin of the idea behind this proposal and Odisha is in their initial list of locations for one of the 10 schools.

See http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Science-Magnet-Navodayas-soon/597429 and http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100330/jsp/nation/story_12280434.jsp for details. Following are excerpts from the Indian Express article.

… a new set of Navodayas will come up as ‘Science Magnet’ schools in collaboration with top-notch R&D institutes like the Indian Institute of Science, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, National Physical Laboratory, Council for Science & Industrial Research, Indian Space Research Organisation and the IITs among others, highly placed sources told The Indian Express. Following them will be special schools focused on culture, music, sports and vocational education.

These specialised schools will, however, only cater to students from classes IX to XII. All other Navodaya schools admit students from Class VI onwards.

Starting this year, the schools will be set up over the next three years and add to the chain of over 560 Navodayas spread across the country. Cleared last week by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti’s Executive Committee headed by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, the proposal is set to go to the Union Cabinet and will take off with 10 Science Magnet Navodayas to start with.

“The whole concept has been developed in view of the huge shortage of Science graduates and post-graduates worldwide. No one wants to do core Science any longer. So planned as a Phase II of the Navodaya expansion, 10 Science Magnet Navodaya schools will be set up at a cost of some Rs 15-20 crore each,” a senior official in the HRD Ministry said. “These will be located in the vicinity of institutes like NPL, BARC, ISRO, IISc etc with whom we will be collaborating. We have already written to these institutes.”

“These institutes will basically do the handholding for the specialised schools, conduct special sessions, help set up state-of-the-art labs, assist in making Science teaching easy, evolve new pedagogical methods and also help to project the basic sciences as attractive options,” added the official. “It is hoped that students will ultimately also plug the vacuum in the scientific community and join their league at these institutes.”

While the course will be based on CBSE curriculum, the admission to these schools will take into account aptitude in Sciences, participation in events like Science Olympiads among other criteria. Admissions to the Navodayas are on the basis of a national-level examination.

We had written about this in http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/303 and had contacted the SAC-PM, DST, IISER/NISER directors, and MHRD officers about it. We are happy that it is now going to be implemented. Hopefully, one of the 10 schools will be in Odisha.

March 30th, 2010

Entrance exam for Rtapalli School

2 comments February 6th, 2010

SAI International School for Global Exchange

Following is an excerpt from a Tathya.in report.

SAI International School (SIS), Bhubaneswar has finalized the unique plan of International Exchange of students and teachers through its strategic partner Laurels Global, UK. 

This will provide opportunities for students to discover and explore exciting places and cultures, improve or develop new language skills and make lifelong friendships. 

In addition, children will increase their cultural awareness through a direct experience, enhance their understanding of others, gain confidence, develop responsibility and self-reliance, and are better prepared for 21st century life in the global village. 

SIS is arranging tie-ups with leading schools worldwide, to invite children and teachers to visit and be a part of their dynamic and vibrant school community. 

Children will attend classes and participate in various school activities. 

Teachers will be engaged in teaching–learning process and enrich them with the latest pedagogical trends and techniques used internationally. 

Similarly children and teachers of other schools will visit SAI International School and explore rich Indian heritage and values.

1 comment January 4th, 2008

Ruchika: If a child can not come to school, then the school must come to the child

Hindu magazine has a heart warming story on the Ruchika School and Ruchika Social Service Organization. A documentary film on Ruchika narrated by Robert Redford and shown in PBS is here. Following is an excerpt from Hindu article.

A young housewife, new to Bhubaneswar, started a pre-school in her house with two students: her sister’s daughter and the gardener’s daughter. Soon, she put up a small board, “Ruchika” on the gate. This attracted curious neighbours who got used to seeing a couple of children laughing and playing with a lady in the “posh” Forest Park house. The number of tiny tots soon grew to 11 and then 20.

Soon after, she started a school in a rented building. Ruchika was a school with a difference. Teachers took the students out to post-offices and railway stations, banks and bridges to give them a “feel” of what they learn in books, and “see” how things work. Every day, the lady saw a number of children from nearby slums peeping in at the gate. “But I didn’t have the freedom to open my own gates to those poor semi-clad children. We have stratified our society that way. That really hurt,” she now says.

Whenever she went to the railway station, she saw children with bright faces wiping compartment floors and begging from passengers. Inderjit Khurana’s husband was an engineer in the Army, and the Khuranas had moved to Bhubaneswar in 1970s. When asked what brought them to Bhubaneswar, Inderjit smiles, “Destiny”.

Idea that worked

Inderjit often thought of the children outside her gate and those bright faces covered with grime. She hit upon the unique idea of “Platform schools”. If a child cannot come to the school, the school should go to the child! She asked teachers in Ruchika if they would volunteer to teach the “platform children” early in the morning before they started their regular work. Only one, R.P. Dwivedi, the physical training instructor, agreed “provided you don’t sack me if I say ‘no’ after one month”. Ruchika’s Platform School was born, with one frail lady and a physical training instructor marking the boundaries of the “school” with chalk in one corner of the Bhubaneswar railway platform. The duo went with toys, paper, crayons, soap and towels. Platform children flocked in and “it was a joy to see them bathing and laughing. They drew, talked and asked very intelligent questions”, recalls Inderjit 27 years later.

1 comment October 28th, 2007

Children joining special schools under Child Labor Project

The following is from a PIB release.

The number of children who have been withdrawn from hazardous jobs and have been admitted to special schools under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme has more than doubled during the last three years.  Their number has increased from 1,67,825 in 2004-05 to 3,37,269 in 2006-07.  These children in the age group of 9 to 14 years are provided with accelerated bridging education and other benefits like stipend, mid-day meal, vocational training, health check-ups, etc. in special schools for a maximum period of three years to enable them to join regular mainstream education system.

            The state-wise details of the children enrolled in special schools under NCLP is as follows:

Name of the State




Andhra Pradesh




























Madhya Pradesh
























Uttar Pradesh




West Bengal








Similarly, the number of children enrolled in special schools under the Indo-US (INDUS) Project has also seen an increase during the last three years as follows:

Name of the State




Madhya Pradesh








Uttar Pradesh


















August 24th, 2007

Special school for child laborers

Odisha.com reports on a special school for child workers that has been started in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

July 7th, 2007

Sai International establishing a school near Infocity

Odisha.com reports that Sai International plans to establish a K-12 school in a 5.5 acres land near Infocity in Bhubaneswar. The school will be built at an expense of 25 crores and will aim to cater the children of IT employees working in the Infocity.

16 comments July 4th, 2007


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