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Friday, 26 December 2014

Will new nursery admission norms affect special-need kids, asks High Court

The Delhi High Court on Monday raised the issue of whether reservations in nursery admissions for differently-abled children will be adversely affected by the recent single-bench order, which had said the Directorate of Education (DoE) cannot interfere in nursery admissions of private unaided schools.

The issue came up during a hearing in a PIL seeking implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act to provide three per cent reservation for children with special needs (CWSNs), after the Principal Secretary (Education) Anindo Majumdar said the DoE had been directed to not issue any guidelines for admissions.

The court of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Vipin Sanghi noted that the issue of persons with disabilities had not been taken up by the court while looking into the regulatory powers of the DoE.

During the hearing, amicus curiae Ravi Gupta and senior advocate Kirti Uppal, who had appeared for the petitioner, also pointed out that the DoE had failed to submit the data on the facilities available in various private unaided schools for CWSNs.

The lawyers informed the court that every recognised school, aided or unaided, has to fill specific information regarding facilities for CWSNs. This is submitted annually to the government under the Unified District Information System (UDISE) run under the aegis of National University of Educational Planning and Administration.

The court then pulled up the DoE for not submitting the data even though it was allegedly available.

“Our anxiety was that the maximum number of children get admission this year. If schools have given data on facilities available, it was your job to submit it. Admissions are open already and data is not there,” the court said.

The DoE, however, argued that the data was “primary data” and that it was in the process of creating a system for verification on the basis of a format prepared by the Rehabilitation Council of India.

The court has allowed the DoE to submit the collated data by January 14, and has directed that the verification process can continue “in the meantime”. The court also noted that it was the “duty” of the government to ensure facilities for differently-abled children.

Source: The Indian Express, 23rd Dec 2014 

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