To implement the provisions of the Right to Education policy, the Delhi government will soon be allocating plots to schools and existing educational societies instead of letting the Delhi Development Authority auction them. However, new educational societies will get the plot through the auction route.
The new policy approved by the Delhi cabinet recently also says that half of the plots will be reserved for Kendriya Vidalayas, run by the HRD ministry and the state government's Navodaya Vidayalas.
The remaining plots will be given to private educational trusts. Around 80% of the plots will be reserved for existing societies and 20% for new societies.
The government schools and existing societies will get plots through allotment at zonal rates, which are much lower than the market rate.
However, new societies will get plots through auction as per the market rate.
In a reply to a Right to Information application to Subhash Aggarwal, Delhi government said because of DDA's auction policy, no land has been allotted to schools in the past 15 years, thereby hampering the implementation of the Right to Education law which mandates compulsory education to children in six to 14 age group.
"This (RTE) law will require setting up of more neighbourhood schools to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of educational institutions," the Delhi government said, while justifying its decision to alter plot disbursement policy for schools.
Justifying the land allocation policy in place of the auction policy, the Delhi government also said that the government and private sector are therefore required to join hands in setting up new schools.
The decision, vetted by HRD ministry and Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna, says the prohibitive price of land was serving as a stumbling block for educational societies to meet operational costs through tuition fees only.
As per the new policy, a land allotment committee under the chief secretary will allocate plots for the government and private schools.
Each year, the DDA will be required to inform the Delhi government about the plots that are available for allocation to schools.