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Every school has autonomy to set eligibility criteria for itself: Delhi High Court

Court dimisses plea of student who challenged Delhi govt. run school’s eligibility criteria

September 17, 2022 01:00 am | Updated 12:51 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Justice Singh remarked that as the student could not meet the edibility criteria set by the school, she chose to challenge the criteria.

Justice Singh remarked that as the student could not meet the edibility criteria set by the school, she chose to challenge the criteria. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

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The Delhi High Court has remarked that every school, including those run by a State government, has the autonomy to maintain the standards it has set for itself, which includes deciding the eligibility criteria for admission to its classes.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh made the observation while dismissing the plea by a student challenging the admission criteria of Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) here for admission in Class XI in science stream (biology).

On July 27, 2022, the Delhi government, which runs the RPVV schools, issued a circular mandating minimum of 71% marks for admission in the science stream in Class XI for the academic year 2022-23.

The student, Pragati Goswami, approached the High Court challenging the validity and constitutionality of the circular.

The counsel representing Pragati stated that the student belongs to the OBC category (Non-Creamy Layer) and was a student of the school.

Pragati said she secured 81.80% in Class X CBSE examinations in 2022. However, she was denied admission in the science stream as she secured 69% in science and the admission in science stream required a minimum of 71%, as per the circular.

The counsel for the student argued that certain other schools, such as Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, have a requirement of 50% marks in science for admission in the science stream in Class XI. The counsel further argued that the student belongs to the OBC category and is eligible for 5% relaxation in marks, as per the terms of a circular issued by the Delhi government on February 7, 2022.

Pragati pleaded that she wishes to become a doctor, hence, she wishes to continue her further education in the science stream.

Justice Singh remarked that as the student could not meet the edibility criteria set by the school, she chose to challenge the criteria. “...Such a challenge does not stand ground since the school had only exercised its discretion to set out the minimum requirements for admission in Class XI,” the Judge said.

With regard to the February 7 circular, the court noted that there are different categories of schools under the Delhi government and the circular was issued with respect to the Schools of Specialised Excellence.

“Upon perusal of the said circular, it is found that the reservation for the categories of SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer)/Divyang Children, was for this specific category of schools and was not to be made universally applicable on all schools under the respondent no. 1 (Delhi government),” the court said.

“The different criteria and relaxation for admission in this category of schools is justified since it requires a more rigorous assessment and evaluation of students, such as passing of aptitude tests etc., who seek admission in these schools. This categorisation of schools cannot said to be discriminatory or illegal,” the court added while rejecting the student’s plea.

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