Schools across Delhi are celebrating the fact that their autonomy has been maintained in conducting nursery admissions, as the Delhi Government has decided to give them a free hand vis-a-vis following the point system or conducting a lottery.
But the Delhi government's rules to harmonise interests of schools with the Right to Education Act in nursery admissions have left the human resource development (HRD) ministry in a bind because the rules may be violative of the law and its spirit, sources said.
The HRD ministry has clarified that schools can create categories of students it wants to admit, with no cap on the percentage of students from different categories.
The move was aimed at allowing all girls' schools and other institutions meant for students from specific backgrounds. But the selection of students within each category must be random and based on a lottery, the ministry has decided.
The RTE Act specifically bars the selection of students through any means other than random selection and the Centre's decision to allow categorisation was a relaxation.
The Delhi rules, announced on Wednesday, however, allow schools not just the liberty to admit specific categories of students, but also the freedom to pick students within a category. Students within a category can be selected through a points system, that Delhi schools have followed since 2007, under the Delhi rules, which run contrary to the HRD ministry's guidelines and rules.
Schools to display EWS details: CIC
Ahead of nursery admissions, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has pulled up the Delhi government for non-compliance of its earlier order and directed it to ensure that all schools display in Hindi and English details of seats available for students under the economically weaker section (EWS) category.
Upholding the complaint of Ritu Mehra from NGO Pardarshita, Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi set a deadline of December 31 for compliance.
The details on the display board put up at a place, which is easily visible from outside the school should have the total number of seats in all classes in that school, total number of seats in each class, total seats under EWS quota, among other details, Gandhi directed.
Mehra had pointed out in her complaint that information about EWS quota in schools was not widely disseminated.
"The people/students for whom that quota is meant have no access to either websites or English newspapers. So, we demanded that such boards be put up in Hindi, too, at the school itself," Mehra told HT.