Private schools in Delhi will now be free to set their own norms for nursery admissions with the Delhi High Court on Tuesday staying a state government’s earlier notification making neighbourhood or distance the sole criterion.
The AAP government had made it mandatory for the 298 private unaided schools, built on public land allotted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), to admit students in nursery only from their neighbourhood.
While issuing the notification, the government had invoked a clause in the allotment letter.
The court order has automatically reinstated the 20% management quota of the unaided schools.
The last day for submission of application for admission for the academic session 2017-18 is Tuesday.
Around 150,000 aspirants vie for 125,000 seats every year but the process gets caught in last-minute litigation as either parents or schools go to court almost every year.
The relief, however, could be temporary for the schools with the state government maintaining that from the next academic year it will implement the terms of the allotment letter.
“We will respect the judgment of the court and give the relaxation this academic year. But before the next academic year we will come up with a legal provision to fulfil the terms of the allotment letter,” said Atishi Marlena, advisor to the Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
“Even the Supreme Court has time and again in various cases, including the Modern School and the fee-hike cases, stated that the directorate of education should ensure that terms of the allotment letter are fulfilled,” she said.
The schools expectedly welcomed the court’s verdict. They also said that parents will not have to fill application forms again in the wake of the court’s order.
“The list will be released on the basis of the application forms the parents have already submitted. There is no need for new forms,” said Jyoti Arora of the Mount Abu Public School.
The fist list will be released on March 7.
Some parents though are disappointed by the stay, felt relieved that the confusion over the admission process is now over.
“This government’s rule increased the number of seats for general category students. Now the scenario will change. I can now hope to manage a seat for my child in any of the schools,” said Latika Rathi, a resident of Chattarpur in south Delhi.