The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Monday defended before the Delhi high court its decision to scrap management quota in nursery admission in the capital saying it “is wholly non-transparent and is susceptible to misuse”.
The state government response came after the HC had on last hearing issued notice to it on petitions by private schools seeking to quash the January 6 circular that scrapped 62 criteria, including management quota, for nursery admissions.
“Management quota are no more than a mechanism through which certain institutions have been or are looking to obtain funds as a quid pro quo for grant of admissions. Such practice is clearly deleterious for the development of school education in Delhi and consequently must be stopped,” the city government said.
It said management quota was “an unreasonable and exploitative practice and results in creating an uneven playing field for the parents and children seeking admission to schools and discriminating amongst them on the basis of economic capacity or social status”.
Educational institutes cannot admit students as per it whims and fancies, under the grab of ‘management quota’, the city government said adding it, “cannot allow the private schools to have a wholly opaque and non-transparent quota”.
The HC had said the government cannot take away the “autonomy of private schools” by an office order which has not been passed under any statutory provision.
It had, however, clarified that parents can for now apply as per the 62 criteria, but “scrutiny of applications would be subject to final orders”. It listed the matter for further hearing on January 28.
The January 6 circular has been challenged by the Forum for Promotion of Quality Education and the Action Committee of Unaided Recognized Private Schools (ACURPS) on the ground that it was “absolutely without jurisdiction and contrary to and violative of various judgments passed by the Supreme Court as well as by various benches of the High Court, relating to the autonomy of private unaided schools to regulate their admissions”.
The association said the discretionary management quota is not only permitted in all private unaided recognised schools functioning across India but in higher and professional educational institutions.
The government’s decision came in the midst of the admission process for nursery classes in over 2,500 private schools in the capital.
The process of distributing forms for nursery admissions began on January 1 and will end on January 22. The first list of selected candidates will be displayed on February 15. The second list, if any, will come out on February 29 and the admission process will close on March 31.