The Delhi government’s plans to make neighbourhood the primary criteria in nursery admissions could face problems as Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has expressed reservations on its implementation.
The government — which has to submit in court its plans for admission in schools that got land on concession from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) — had first sent its plan to the L-G.
Sources said while Jung is happy with the plan, he has expressed reservations about how it will be implemented. He has asked the government to hold a meeting with stakeholders, including schools and land-owning authorities, before the final criteria is set. The meeting is scheduled for Monday.
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Earlier this month, The Indian Express had reported that the government wants neighbourhood as the primary admission criteria in schools that were given land on concession by the DDA.
This was done on the condition that schools will first admit applicants from their neighbourhood. However, what comprises “neighbourhood” was not clarified.
According to officials, not all schools were given land by the DDA. According to records, of the 1,700 private schools in the city, 400 were given land by the authority.
According to the L-G, the allotment letters for only 285 schools of the 400 have the condition of admission based on neighbourhood.
“The L-G has expressed concerns that since only 250-300 schools fall under the ambit of this neighbourhood category, different guidelines will have to be prepared for the remaining schools. However, even now, all schools make their own criteria. Here, these particular schools will have to give primacy to applicants from their neighbourhood. This is what the elected government of Delhi wants. We have scheduled a meeting with stakeholders on Monday,” said Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
The Land and Development Office and DDA, of which the L-G is the head, earlier submitted in court that they have no expertise in the matter and that the Directorate of Education should make the decision “according to their experience and knowledge”.
“These look like delay tactics since the admission season is upon us. The case is very clear. The Supreme Court in 2004 said the conditions mentioned in the allotment letter will have to be met. Also, the figure of 285 schools is not entirely correct as the schools whose allotment letter does not mention the neighbourhood clause have junior schools on DDA land — where the clause is mentioned. They will have to admit neighbourhood applicants,” said Khagesh Jha of Justice for All, the petitioner in the case.