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Delhi High Court observes Nursery admission case as ‘a race against time’

The school bodies that filed petition pointed out that the notifications carrying neighborhood criteria have been imposed upon 298 schools only, while it has not been made mandatory for the other 1,400 schools

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New Delhi, Feb 7: At the outset of the hearing, Delhi High Court’s Justice Manmohan said, “It is a race against time. We are running on a very tight schedule before which this matter has to be decided.”

While hearing the petitions filed by parents and two school group against Delhi government’s two controversial notification on nursery admissions, the Delhi High Court observed the case as ‘a race against time’. The court’s observation ascertains its connotation as the process for applying for nursery admission in schools here would end on February 14, mentioned PTI.

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The petitions filed in the Delhi High Court challenged the Delhi government’s December 19, 2016, and January 7 notifications that made 298 private schools, built on Delhi Development Authority land, to accept nursery admission forms based only on the neighborhood or distance criteria.

During the hearing, the court asked the counsel appearing for one of the school bodies, “Their (government’s) argument is that do not entertain the challenge regarding the land allotment letter. Can you bifurcate in the sense that if a challenge to the allotment letter is not undertaken by the court then can you challenge the criteria independently of the allotment.”

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Responding to this, the counsel said that the issue can be bifurcated as because of the consequence of these new circulars, a new ground of discrimination between two classes of students has cropped up.

The school bodies that filed petition alleged Delhi government with “discrimination” towards the private school. They pointed out that the notifications carrying neighborhood criteria have been imposed upon 298 schools only, while it has not been made mandatory for the other 1,400 schools.

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“If the issue of children going to schools in around 1,400 schools is not a matter of concern for the government then why it is a concern for students of 298 schools. Why have only 298 schools been subjected to this kind of treatment? It is nothing but arbitrariness and discrimination,” the lawyer said to PTI

He also argued that interest of these 298 schools has to be safeguarded and being the government, it should not discriminate between students. He further clarified that there is no definition of neighborhood criteria in the letter allocating land to the schools.

prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

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Publishers Body Welcomes HC Order Lifting Non-NCERT Book Ban

"The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,"

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Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay
Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay

The Association of Publishers in India (API) on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order which stipulated that sale of non-NCERT books must not be disallowed in CBSE-affiliated schools, calling the practice “discriminatory”.

“The court decision exemplifies the point that an ideal education system is the one that recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders and is learner-centric. The decision has been welcomed by not just students and parents but also by schools, private publishers, authors and others as it symbolizes ‘freedom of choice’ in education,” the representative body of publishers of academic texts said in a statement.

ALSO READ: The glorious tales of Chaar Sahibzaade to be included in NCERT syllabi

“The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,” it said.

NCERT
Arguing that the sale of books, stationery and other items sold by the school be treated as “essential requirements”, the court last week in a decision refused to put a ban on these activities. Pixabay

 

In doing so, the court overturned the April 2017 injunction issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which asked affiliating schools not to indulge in “commercial” activities.

ALSO READ: App allowing free download of all NCERT books to be launched soon

The court said the availability of uniforms, non-NCERT reference books or even food items for sale only to the students of the school does not fall in the category of and cannot at all be considered as commercialization.

Earlier in its circular, the board had asked the schools to “desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, school bags etc from within the premise or from selected vendors only” and directed them to operate as doing “community service” as per the board by-laws.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha, in December last year, told Parliament that CBSE has not directed students or schools to buy or prescribe NCERT books only. (IANS)