HC asks Delhi to publicise school scheme for poor

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Government of Delhi to give adequate publicity to a scheme under which students from poor families can get admission into schools for free. The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by Social Jurist, an NGO, seeking direction from the court to 384 unaided recognised private schools in Delhi, reports IANS. These schools were allotted public land on concessional rates on the condition that they should also admit students from economically weaker sections (EWS). "The government is directed to give adequate publicity to the reservation for EWS category on its website, newspapers, Doordarshan and other (television) channels as well as in cinema halls by way of slides," a division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said this week. "We are informed that the admission process for the academic session 2009-10 is in process and is likely to be completed by April and an assurance has been given on behalf of the respective schools that the interim order of this court for reservation admitting to 15 per cent of EWS students could be maintained and complied with in letter and spirit," the court said. The government informed the court that 10,262 children were admitted under the freeship quota in the academic year 2008-09. Ashok Aggarwal, counsel for Social Jurist, submitted before the court that there were complaints that some schools do not issue admission forms to parents of children from poor families. The court directed the lawyer to approach the director of education for such cases and said the department would take appropriate action under the law. It also directed all schools to submit their statement to the director of education by the first week of May showing the number of students admitted under the EWS category. The next hearing in the case has been set for July 8
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