The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), a body that is given the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of children and implementing the Right to Education Act in the city, has been functioning without a chairperson for the past three months.
The post is lying vacant at a very crucial point — the time of nursery admissions — when the maximum number of complaints regarding non-implementation of the Right to Education Act is received. The term of the former chairperson, Amod Kanth, ended in the beginning of September last year.
According to an RTI application filed by NGO Pratidhi, as early as June government officials had been alerted of his impending tenure completion. Even the chief minister had asked that the matter to be looked into urgently. An advertisement inviting applications for the chairman’s post was published in leading national dailies in mid September. But the post is still unoccupied.
Currently, the secretary of the Department of Women and Child Development is filling in as the head of DCPCR.
"We are working towards getting a new chairperson soon. Meetings of the search and the selection committees have already taken place and certain names are being discussed. The secretary of the department of Women and Child Development has dual charge right now but the working of the commission is not being affected," said Kiran Walia, social welfare minister, Delhi.
Walia said the appointment was taking a long time as the ministry does not want to rush the decision. "We want to select the best for the post. We don't want to take such an important decision in a hurry," she said.
The commission receives thousands of complaints every year. Since the Right to Education Act was implemented in 2009, complaints regarding denial of admission have seen a spurt, especially in January when the nursery admissions kick off.