The Chandigarh administration has moved the Punjab and Haryana high against the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutes (NCMEI) order granting minority status to Vivek High School, Sector 38. The case is listed for hearing on September 12.
The education department, on behalf of the administration, has sought quashing of orders passed by the commission in 2012, saying that the school has violated the UT land allotment laws by not reserving seats for the economically weaker sections (EWS) students.
“The school applied for the minority status with mala fide intensions as the first application was filed immediately after the apex court judgment that minority unaided schools shall be outside the purview of the Right to Education Act.”
The petition filed by the director, school education, states that that the school applied for the minority status with mala fide intensions as the first application for the grant of minority status was filed immediately after the apex court judgment that minority unaided schools shall be outside the purview of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. “The timing of the application indicates that the only purpose for the grant of minority status was to circumvent the RTE Act,” reads the petition.
The petition has also stated that the school misled the commission saying that there was no competent authority in UT to deal with the issue of minority status.
Officials say out of 10 schools, which had sought minority status after the RTE Act came into force, only two schools got no-objection certificate from the education department.
- Of the 82 private schools in the city, 22 are minority. Thirteen schools opted for minority status after the directions of the apex court in 2012, which had ruled that the minority schools are not bound to reserve 25% of their seats in entry level classes under the RTE Act.
On April 26, 2012, Vivek High School moved an application directly to the commission for grant of the minority status. On March 28, 2013, the plea was contested before the commission. The director, school education, appraised the commission that the school bypassed the channel of application.
On September 10, 2014, the director raised objection that the original trust deed of the school does not share that the beneficiary of the school were members of the Sikh Community and on February 16, 2015, the chairman of the school refused to provide any information regarding the admission policy, resolution policy or ratio of students as they are a minority institute. However, on February 4, 2016, the NCMEI granted the minority status to the school.
A total of 10 schools applied for a minority status after 2010, but only two schools got a no objection certificate from the UT administration, including Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40.
What is RTE?
As per the Right to Education Act, 2009, recognised private schools are bound to reserve 25% of their seats to EWS students. In 2014, the Supreme Court had, however, exempted minority educational institutions from giving this reservation.[“Source-hindustantimes”]