AAP appeals against management quota in nursery admissions

The Aam Admi Party government in Delhi on Monday approached the Delhi High Court challenging a single bench order that restored the management quota for nursery admissions in private unaided schools.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said it would hear the appeal on Wednesday.

On 4 February, Justice Manmohan in an interim order had put on hold the national capital region government's 6 January circular scrapping 62 criteria, including the management quota, for nursery admissions, but accepted 11 criteria proposed by the private schools' association, saying some of the 62 criteria fixed for private schools for nursery admissions were "untenable".

The court restored the management quota, saying the private unaided private schools are "entitled to full autonomy" in administration.

The government, filing the appeal before a division bench, said the practice of management quota was "deleterious" for school education development in Delhi and hence "must be stopped" and also it was "wholly non-transparent and susceptible to misuse".

Upholding the autonomy of private unaided schools, the court said, "Promoters of a school who make investment at their own personal risk are entitled to full autonomy in administration, including the right to admit students," and held that the government's order infringed on their autonomy and students' rights.

''The private unaided schools have maximum autonomy in day-to-day administration, including the right to admit students," it said but asked the AAP government to take action against erring private schools which were "demanding money" from parents to admit kids under the management quota.

The 6 January order was passed "without any authority under law" or without approval of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, and was in direct conflict with the 2007 order (after recommendations of the expert Ganguly Committee) issued by the Lt Governor, which accorded freedom to private unaided recognised schools to frame their own guidelines for nursery admissions, it added.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on 6 January said the decision to scrap the management quota was taken to bring in more transparency in the admission process, while the existing provision of 25 per cent seats for students from poor families would remain in place.

Currently, the schools keep 20 per cent or more seats under the management quota, while 25 per cent seats are reserved for students from economically weaker sections. The remaining are in the general category.