While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the denial of admission to female students in the state’s Sainik and military schools, the Rajasthan High court on Thursday directed the Centre and the state government to submit the details of the land, budget and infrastructure currently available for such schools.
The HC division bench, comprising chief justice S Ravindra Bhat and justice Sandeep Mehta, said that when the girls are being given equal opportunities at all educational institutions and workplaces, it is not justifiable to deny admission to female students from admission in military schools.
Additional solicitor general of India Rajdeepak Rastogi said that at present, separate hostels and other facilities were not available for girl students due to lack of infrastructure and land. “The Centre has written to the state government to provide land and other facilities. Girls will be given admission when these facilities are available,” Rastogi said. The court has asked the Centre and the state to give details regarding the land and facilities currently available.
During the hearing, the petitioner Mahi Yadav told the court that an advertisement for admission to the Military School, Ajmer, has been published recently, stating clearly that admission will be given only to the male students. The petition said that not giving admission to girl students in Sainik Schools is not only a violation of constitutional rights, but is also contrary to the provisions of the Right to Education Act. She told the court that after Mizoram, the Military School in Lucknow recently began accepting girl students, but was not happening in Rajasthan.
According to the data available with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), women comprise only 2.04% of the paramilitary forces, Yadav said. Forces like the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Rifles together constitute a 9.8 lakh-strong force. Of these, only 19,575 are women.
The all India average representation of women in the police forces is only 5.33% – 84,479 police women – against the total strength of 15.85 lakh police force.