Thursday, March 6, 2014

Centre backs nursery rules

NEW DELHI: The Centre has backed the Delhi lieutenant governor's nursery admission guidelines, saying they are in tune with the Right to Education Act.

In a short affidavit filed in Delhi high court on Monday, the Centre says in view of the provisions/clarification in the Right To Education Act, the order of the LG, Delhi on 25% seats for economically weaker sections and for awarding points for neighbourhood policy are "in consistency with the RTE Act".

It has also taken a stand that the Delhi government is well within its rights to notify guidelines since education is a subject in the concurrent list. It has sought dismissal of separate pleas filed by Action Committee of Unaided Recognized Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education for All, which represent most of the private schools here.

The Centre's response came on batch of petitions filed by private unaided schools opposing the new nursery admission guidelines issued by the Lt Governor on December 18 by which various decisions, including scrapping of 20 per cent management quota, were taken.

Schools have maintained the admission norms take away their autonomy and right to choose students on the basis of reasonable criteria. The Action Committee of Unaided Recognized Private Schools has challenged the guidelines on the ground that autonomy of institutions will be curtailed by the government's notification. HC had then sought the Centre's stand.

The private schools had earlier been denied interim relief of stay of operation of the guidelines by the single judge bench and later approached the larger bench of the high court and the Supreme Court which also did not grant any relief and in fact, directed early disposal of their pleas.

Meanwhile, in a related development, another plea was filed in the high court on Monday against the Delhi government's decision to do away with the system of allocating points to interstate transfer cases of children seeking admission in nursery classes.

The government had on February 27 issued the notification scrapping the interstate transfer category under which it used to give five points to children whose parents have been transferred to the national capital from another state. Its move came after petitions were filed in the high court challenging the points awarded under this category.

Now, the fresh petition assails the February 27 notification as being "totally arbitrary and unjustified" and is likely to be taken up on Tuesday.

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