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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Delhi: Nursery admission continues to be a nightmare

Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 06, 2014
First Published: 23:35 IST(6/3/2014) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(7/3/2014)

The Delhi high court on Thursday ordered a fresh draw of lots for all nursery seats, prolonging the agony of parents battling furious competition to get their children in schools of their choice.

Justice Manmohan said a fresh draw of lots was necessary for all seats, including the confirmed one and those vacated after scrapping of the inter-state transfer points, to put all the children on equal footing.

Seat allocation has already been hit after the transfer category was done away with following complaints of fake certificates being used to secure admissions.

The Delhi government on February 27 through a notification scrapped the inter-state transfer category under which it used to give five additional points to children whose parents were transferred to the national capital from another state.

At present admission process follows 95-point system -- 70 points allocated to neighbourhood criteria, 20 to sibling category and five points under alumni criteria.

Thursday’s order is a setback for children who have already been selected as they will have to start all over again. This will be the third time that a draw of lots will be held for nursery admissions for the 2014-15 academic session that opens April 1.

The first draw of lots was cancelled after the February 27 notification.

The process could be delayed further as many parents whose children were selected in the subsequent draw may challenge the order. Sources in the directorate of education (DoE) said the March 15 deadline for schools to come out with the first list remained.

The court also stayed a provision of the February 27 notification that asked schools to conduct a fresh draw only for the seats vacated by transfer candidates.

Some parents told the court if lots were not drawn for all the seats, the transfer candidates would not get a chance to compete against those picked in the earlier draw. Transfer candidates should also be given equal opportunity to compete with other candidates having equal points, senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta said.

The case will now be heard on July 25.

Timeline

2007 - The government set up a committee to look for ways to change the nursery admission process in the city. The Ganguly Committee report that came out suggested that interviews and tests that were conducted to should be abolished and schools should admit students using the points system

Till 2013, schools admitted students based on the points that they themselves decided. The most common of these were distance, alumni, sibling and girl child. The quantum of points for each category varied from school to school.

In December 2013, the directorate came out with guidelines that  mandated all schools to follow the same points system that would give maximum points to distance followed by sibling and alumni and transfer points.

In February 2014, parents went to court against the transfer points category calling it misguided and discriminatory. The court asked the government to do away with the category

Fact box

# In December 2013, the Lieutenant Governor issued guidelines that mandated all schools to follow the same points system that would give maximum points to distance followed by sibling and alumni and transfer points.

# After a series of complaints of fake transfer certificates being used for admission were reported, a set of parents challenged the guidelines in court.

# The court scrapped the 5 points for transfer

# The court later ordered all schools to hold fresh lotteries in the open category


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