Private schools move court against nursery admission

New Delhi, Jan 3: Private schools in the Indian capital Friday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a government notification on the criteria for nursery admissions.

The plea filed by the Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools challenged the Dec 18 notification of Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, claiming it was “absolutely illegal, arbitrary and without jurisdiction”.

The admission process for nursery classes will start Jan 15, and the last date for submission of applications is Jan 31.

The case is likely to come for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana Jan 6.

The plea alleged that the guidelines violated the principle of autonomy and that recognised unaided private schools had powers given by the central government to frame their own admission criteria for 75 percent of the seats.

“The notification was issued in absolute contravention and in violation of the guidelines issued by the ministry of human resource department Nov 23, 2010 whereby complete and maximum autonomy was granted to private unaided registered schools to frame their own policy for admission and lay down their own criteria,” the plea said.

The petition also claimed that the management of the schools were never consulted by the Lt Governor, thus violating the “principal of natural justice”.

The notification was also against a 2002 Supreme Court judgment “giving maximum autonomy”, the schools said.

The petitioner said the notification should be quashed as it completely deleted the management quota seats. Till last year, schools could reserve 20 percent of their seats as management quota.

The plea file by private schools made the central government, the Directorate of Education (DoE) and the office of Lt Governor as party in the case.

According to the new guidelines, admissions will continue to be done on the 100-point basis. But children living within an eight kilometre radius will be included in the criteria of “neighbourhood”, carrying 70 points.

Grandchildren of staff members will also be entitled to a five percent quota. This was earlier extended only to the children.

A quarter of the seats have to be reserved for the economically weaker section and disadvantaged group.

Children who have a sibling studying in the same school will get 20 points — and five points will be for girls.

IANS