Delhi government on Wednesday asked private unaided schools to scrap 62 different "arbitrary" criteria listed out for securing admissions at nursery level, some of which are based on eating habits of parents or whether they smoke or consume alcohol.
Demanding cancellation of certain admission criteria like non-smoker, non-alcoholic and vegetarian parents, the government said a "child cannot be punished for any particular habit of the parents so this (criterion) is unjust."
"Directorate of Education, vide its circular dated 8/12/2015 had directed all the Private Unaided Recognized Schools to develop and adopt criteria for admissions for the 75 per cent Open Seats to Entry Level Classes for session 2016-17 which shall be clear, well defined, equitable, non-discriminatory, unambiguous and transparent," a circular issued by the Delhi government said.
The AAP government also took a major decision of scrapping management and all other quotas barring the EWS category, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal describing the quotas in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution relating to equality before law.
The government has also termed other criteria listed by schools like giving two photographs of the students and enrolling scholar students as "illogical".
It has asked the schools to do away with GK/interview, oral tests of both children and parents as well as qualification of parents.
"There cannot be any screening of children or their parents," Kejriwal said.
Quoting a Delhi High Court order, the Delhi government said, "It is common knowledge that though there is obligation on the state to provide free and compulsory education to children and the corresponding responsibility of the institution to afford the same, educational institutions cannot be allowed to run as teaching shops".
Kejriwal said the schools can come up with their own admission criteria, but they should be just and fair.
The government has also termed the criteria of being a permanent resident of Delhi by birth as void as "it is illegal and violation of fundamental right of the citizen".
It also hit out at criteria like child whose parents/grandparent is a significant non-financial/volunteer to the school, those coming from a particular business or belonging to a certain service as "discriminatory as parents status does not matter at least in the education field".
The government order has directed all the private schools to rework on their nursery admission criteria and upload the same.