Court upholds March 12 circular; says make norms public

Private unaided schools in the State will have to formulate their own transparent rules for admissions to seats other than the 25 per cent reserved for disadvantaged and poor students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The schools should publish the rules in their school prospectus and put them up on the notice- board.

The circular issued by the Department of Public Instruction on March 12, 2013 has now become mandatory with the Karnataka High Court on Thursday upholding its validity.

Justice B.S. Patil upheld the validity of the circular after the government clarified that seats would have to be filled by a draw of lots only when schools received applications in excess of the available number of seats.

Challenged

The Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association, the Saraswathi Vidya Mandir Association and the Sree Vasavi Education Society had challenged the circular contending that it imposed unreasonable restriction on the rights of the managements contrary to the Supreme Court’s verdict in the matter.

Government counsel Om Kumar submitted that the circular was issued as per guidelines given by the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the RTE Act in 2010.

The Ministry guidelines state that “each school should formulate a policy under which admissions are to take place. This policy should include criteria for categorisation of applicants in terms of the objectives of the school on a rational, reasonable and just basis. There shall be no profiling of the child based on parental educational qualifications. The policy should be placed by the school in the public domain.”

In its March 12 circular, the Department of Public Instruction asked unaided schools to come out with their own rules/regulations/norms for admitting students to the remaining seats. The circular also stated that schools should not collect donations or capitation fees.

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