The Joint Forum of Minority Educational Institutions, an umbrella organisation of representatives of different minority communities, has expressed its annoyance at the Government's insistence that schools run by minority institutions provide 25 per cent quota to economically weaker sections under the Right to Education Act.

Calling it an interference on their rights to admit, establish and administer, Carmel Convent principal Sister Nirmalini said: “Most of our institutions offer quality education at one-third the cost of private schools and many of our students study on concession. For several years now we have been working for the economically weaker sections, but to now impose this additional 25 per cent will put huge financial burden on us and make us unable to sustain the quality of education.”

“The Government should stop harassing our institutions and this clear violation of rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution,” she added.

Members of the Forum noted that they had presented a memorandum to L-G Tejendra Khanna seeking autonomy for minority institutions last year.

Al-Falah School of Engineering & Technology's Governing Board chairman Jawad Ahmad Siddiqui said: “The Government can't force us to agree on the quota that we offer to EWS members. Our fee structure is much lower than what is being offered in private schools and this latest order will put additional burden on us.”

St. Columba's School principal Lenny Lobo said: “This latest order is the Government's method of progressively diluting our autonomy. The Government is actually washing its hands of its primary responsibility of providing quality education through government-run schools. This latest order infringes upon the Constitutional right given to us to run our schools as institutes for the welfare of minorities.”

Delhi Catholic Archdiocese spokesman Dominic Emmanuel said: “The Government order has forced representatives of different minority communities to come together and fight this harassment.”