The Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that the Right to Education Act is not applicable to nursery admissions and the state government can make its own policies for such admissions through screening of children.
The Human Resources Development ministry said in an affidavit filed in court that RTE is applicable only to 25% of the seats in a school, which is to be reserved for students from economically weaker sections.
If the Centre's stand is upheld, it would mean 75 per cent of the seats in unaided private schools meant for general candidates can be filled as per points-based criteria formulated by the schools and being followed for 2013-14 admissions and the ongoing admission process will not be upset.
Most of the schools have already come out with their first list of candidates."The Act covers only children between 6 and 14 years relating to admission in elementary education. The state governments may have its own policies governing admissions in pre-primary class," the HRD ministry affidavit said.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by lawyer Ashok Aggarwal of an NGO challenging the point system being followed by schools as "violative of RTE Act" and "discriminatory".
Till the age factor was first brought to its attention on January 30, the court had during three earlier hearings of the PIL which sought quashing the points system, slammed the government and schools under the premise that RTE was applicable to all seats in a school.