The nursery admission process in Delhi schools will begin from January 1 and conclude on March 31. For parents in the national capital, admissions have always been a difficult ride with guidelines and rules changing frequently.
Here is a timeline of the changes that have come about in the way admissions are conducted:
Prior to 2004: Schools had the autonomy to conduct the interview of children and parents. Schools running on government land were asked to give 20% reservation for children belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS).
2004: Rakesh Agarwal, a parent, challenged one of the schools’ discriminatory nursery admission rule in Delhi high court through Social Jurists.
2007: Screening and interview process was quashed by the high court and a committee under Ashok Ganguly - the then CBSE chairperson - was formed. Ganguly committee devised the 100 point system with criteria’s like neighbourhood, parents education, etc.
2007: Action Committee, an association of private unaided school, challenged the Ganguly Committee guidelines in the Supreme Court.
2008: Some modification was made to the guidelines and schools were allowed to introduce their own criteria.
2008-2010: Nursery admissions took place as per the Ganguly Committee guidelines.
2010: The right to education (RTE) act was implemented and reservation for EWS children increased to 25%.
2010: Directorate of education then came with guidelines similar to those of the Ganguly Committee. So Social Jurists challenged the point system and asked for an implementation of RTE even for nursery admissions.
2010-2013: Admissions continued as per the Ganguly Committee guidelines. But schools continued to have the liberty with certain criteria like management, staff, etc.
F ebruary 2013: Delhi high court said that RTE cannot govern nursery admission as it deals with children below six years of age. The court also directed the lieutenant governor to bring in a new law.
December 2013: L-G issued a new notification which abolished the management quota and allotted 70 point to neighbourhood.
2014: The L-G’s notification was challenged by the association representing schools which delayed the 2014 admission. As a result, admissions extended up to March.
November 2014: The high court quashed the LG’s admission guidelines and gave autonomy to schools to decide on the criteria in tandem with Ganguly Committee guidelines. The government challenged the high court order. Admissions went on as per the guidelines released by respective schools.
November 2015: The AAP government passed the Delhi school education bill introducing provisions which would give powers to the government to make nursery admission guidelines.
Since the amended bill has not been approved by the Centre, the Delhi government has said that schools can frame their own guidelines this year, but made the process of admission for the EWS category online.