The Directorate of Education (DoE) recently wrote to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to cancel the allotment of land to a total of 101 societies that are running nursery schools without ensuring admissions for students in the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category, or where schools were found to be unrecognised, or not traceable.
The DoE has asked the DDA to allot these sites to the DoE instead, to run government schools. A DDA spokesperson did not respond to questions.
In 2017, the DDA provided a list of 176 sites to the DoE that were allotted for setting up nursery schools on the condition that 25% of the students admitted would be from the EWS category.
In eight of these cases, the land allotment has already been cancelled or withdrawn by the DDA, according to an affidavit submitted by the DoE to the Delhi High Court earlier this week.
In 2013, a case was filed before the High Court alleging that nursery schools allotted land by the DDA are not complying with the conditions for land allotment. The HC had asked the DoE in 2014 to ensure on a yearly basis that all schools, including nursery schools, which have been allotted land on the condition of admitting 25% of students from the EWS category, are complying with the norm.
The court order had said then that if schools are found not complying, the DoE will inform the DDA, which would immediately initiate the process of cancelling the lease of land.
A petition filed in 2019 in the matter had sought initiation of contempt proceedings for not complying with this order of the High Court.
In October last year, the HC directed the Delhi government to comply with the 2014 order, failing which contempt proceedings would be initiated.
The HC had then listed the matter for January 23 this year.
According to the DoE affidavit in the case submitted this week, it conducted inspections in 2018 and 2019. It wrote to the DDA in 2019 and in December 2023 asking the land agency to cancel the allotment of land to 52 societies, and allot the site to the DoE instead for running government schools.
In these 52 cases, the societies were found to be running unrecognised schools in violation of land allotment conditions. Another 91 sites were inspected in December 2023, and of these, 39 were found not complying with EWS criteria for admissions, while six were untraceable.
Inspection of the remaining sites is underway.