Delhi schools fight for autonomy over management quota

By Madhurie Singh, January 04, 2014

New Delhi: Nursery admissions in Delhi for the academic year 2014 is likely to remain a thorny issue.

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung had passed guidelines last year, which got rid of the 20 percent management quota in private schools.

The guidelines included 25 percent economically weaker sections (EWS) quota in all schools. It has also brought in a clause of added preference for children from the same neighborhood as the school or children who lived within an eight kilometer radius of the school.

However, the private schools are in no mood to give up the fight and have decided to file a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the admission guidelines issued by Jung. The petition has been filed by the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private in the court on Friday. According to SK Bhattacharya, who is President of Action Committee for Unaided Recognized Private Schools, the petition is against the lack of autonomy for private schools under the new guidelines. He says, “In 2007, the Delhi High Court had issued guidelines which were working fine till 2013. It was on the point based system and schools were happy with it.

However under the guidelines which were issues this year, we feel that the entire admission process is being controlled by the LG and the Department of Education.” There’s also a growing fear that after the writ petition has been filed, it could lead to a delay in the admission process.

Bhattarcharya however refused to comment on that, saying he could not forecast how the case would impact this year’s admission process. Representational image. Agencies. RC Jain, who is president of the Delhi State Public Schools Management Association, told Firstpost that the petition is meant to fight for the autonomy of schools. Jain said, “We want our autonomy back.

The government’s latest guidelines are threatening the autonomy of private, non-aided and recognised schools. In fact, in April 2012, the Supreme Court had ruled that EWS quota will not be implemented in minority schools. The guidelines are violating that order.”

As far as Christian schools are concerned, they are fighting against the EWS quota. Sister Nirmalini, principal, Carmel Convent School told the Times of India, they too will go to court and that their issues were different.

The LG’s guidelines have called for EWS quota in all schools.

Minority schools which are unaided and not on government donated land are not required to reserve seats for Economically Weaker Sections as they don’t come under RTE.

However, there is a chance that the petition could be delayed and will be filed on Monday. While schools insist that the writ petition is about their fight for autonomy, not everyone feels the same.

Sumeet Vohra, , says that the writ petition has been filed only because the management quota has been taken away from the private schools, threatening their profits. He says, “The whole problem is because management quota has been done away with. The schools are not concerned about guidelines or students. If the management quota had not been removed, I’m sure they would not have protested the guidelines at all.”


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