New Delhi: Ahead of the new academic year, the Delhi government on Wednesday issued an order scrapping the so-called management quota in nursery admissions in the city's private schools.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision was taken to bring more transparency in the admission process of private schools.
"Management quota is the biggest scandal in the education system. Under this arrangement, seats are either sold or admissions given on recommendations. So, we have decided to scrap this management quota to make admission process transparent and pro-people," he said at a press conference here.
Kejriwal said the existing provision of 25 percent seats earmarked for students from poor families will remain in place.
"In accordance with the Delhi High Court order, 25 percent admission quota is reserved for EWS (economically weaker sections), while rest of seats are mostly wrongfully reserved by schools on their own. From now onwards, remaining 75 percent will have to be made available to the general category students," he said.
However, he added that schools are free to grant admission to the children of their employees and can allocate points in their criteria.
Currently, the schools keep 20 percent or even more seats under the management quota, while 25 percent seats are reserved for EWS students and the rest are open for the general category children.
Kejriwal said with the new rules in place, the education mafia would have little scope to manipulate the admission procedure, and warned that strict action would be initiated against the schools which do not comply with the order.
"We may also de-recognise the schools which do not follow the order," he said.
Besides, the government has also scrapped 62 other criteria for admission which Kejriwal termed "unreasonable" and "discriminatory".
Giving examples, Kejriwal said that some schools had put it in their admission criteria that children whose parents were non-vegetarian or were alcoholic, would not be granted admission.
The government order has advised schools to make their admission criteria "clear, well defined, equitable, non-discriminatory, unambiguous and transparent", an official statement said.
The National Progressive Schools' Conference (NPSC), an association of privately-managed recognised schools, was guarded in its response, saying it will first examine the order.
"We would decide our future course of action once we receive a copy of the order. Secondly, the matter is already being heard in the Delhi High Court. As of now, it would be premature to comment on the order," said Ashok Pandey, chairperson of NPSC and principal of Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.
Delhi's lt. governor had in December 2013 issued a notification abolishing management quota in nursery admissions but this was challenged by the affected schools.
In November 2014, the high court quashed the admission guidelines issued by the lt. governor and gave autonomy to schools to decide on the criteria as per Ashok Ganguly Committee guidelines. The city government appealed to refer the matter to a larger bench.