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Parents seeking admission for their children into nursery classes are seeing no end to their sufferings. Ever since the Lieutenant Governor (LG) issued guidelines and the set of norms, competing faction of parents have been rushing to court with no relief to anyone, leading to the complete disruption of the schedule. The High Court has now stayed the admission process till 24 March.

The HC bench of acting chief justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul has ordered that no nursery admissions will take place, till next date of hearing in the matter which is scheduled for 24 March. ‘In the meantime, the fresh draw of lots to be conducted in pursuance of the (single judge bench) order dated March 6 shall not take place. We also make it clear no admission shall take place till next date of hearing,’ said the court. Under the system, out of the total 100 points, 70 were given if the child lives within 8 kms of the school premises. These students are clubbed under the neighbourhood criteria. Additional 20 points were given if a sibling is studying there, five points more if either parent is an alumni and another five points if it is an inter-state transfer case.

The mess started when the high court pointed out a flaw in the LG’s guidelines on 25 February and asked about the rationale behind giving five points for inter-state transfer cases. ‘Why should there be points for transfer? What is the logic behind it? You know it’s open to malpractices?,’ asked the court.  Delhi government on next day told the court about scrapping five additional points for the category, while informing that on scrutiny of the 1520 applications, in which inter-state transfer was claimed, over 800 were found to be non-genuine.

The government later informed the court that draw of lots were to be held afresh only for the vacated seats after scrapping of the inter-state transfer category and between candidates who were not successful in the first round of the draw. However court orders to conduct fresh draw of lot saying ‘It would result in discrimination and disadvantage to a few candidates and those having equal marks shall be considered equally’.

The issue for admission arises because guidelines set up by LG has not satisfied each and every parent and hence it has created different lobbies. Kamal Gupta, member of the action committee of private schools, believes that creating norms or setting up guidelines does not solve the problem of parents, as the number of schools are the same. However the number of children are increasing every year. ‘Government has not done anything for increasing number of schools. Private unaided bodies have built it. If the number of schools are not raised, then it does not matter how stylised your guidelines are,’ said Gupta.

He also added that there are so many loopholes in the guidelines and that is why numerous petitions are being filed, on which the court is taking genuine action. ‘Chaos is higher in Delhi because in other metropolitan cities the government does not dominate private schools and also they do not have any such guidelines. I do not understand that how it helps a person to get bound by 8km of restrictions. In fact they are reducing my choices, ‘ added Gupta.

 Another lobby of parents, who were not happy with the fresh draw of lots, believe that they should not suffer for others. Amol Singh, one of the parents of this category, said that he was not happy with the move to conduct fresh draw, so even we filed a petition in the court. ‘Those who have earlier secured 75 points because of inter-state transfer criteria have to be again considered but not at the cost of those who had already secured sufficient points for the consideration of admissions, ‘ said Singh.

Rohit Nagpal, a petitioner on behalf of those parents, who were not satisfied with the inter state transfer points says that all the norms are baseless and there is no mechanism to check their authenticity. ‘The alumni, sibling, interstate transfer criteria are absolutely arbitrary as the same are dependent and based upon information furnished in the registration form without any mechanism to check the truthfulness and veracity of the said information’, said Nagpal.

Earlier, Directorate of Education had announced that the first list for nursery admissions will come out on 15 March and the admission process shall close on 31 March. But now there is a little change in schedule for nursery admissions. The last date for the first list will come out by 7 April on the pretext that schools serve as centres for board exams. The nightmare continues for different groups of parents trying to get their kids admitted into nursery classes this year, as many feel that more petitions are likely to come and the issue will take new turns after 24 March.
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