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The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from Centre and state governments on a PIL seeking inclusion of the orphan children in “disadvantaged children” section under Right to Education (RTE) for school admissions.

A bench comprising CJI SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai, Surya Kant was informed by the petitioner and law student Poulomi Pavini Shukla that over 80 lakh orphan children will be denied admission this year if the petition is not decided urgently.

“The right to education speaks about giving right to education to children but not specifically orphans,” Shukla told the bench.

It may be noted that the HRD ministry is mulling the extension of RTE. In the draft report on the National Education Policy, the HRD ministry  has recommended extension of the Right to Education Act, 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18 instead of 6 to 14 years. But the ministry has not included orphan children in it.

—India Legal Bureau

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