The Delhi High Court on Friday said it expected the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to extend the last date for admissions to class I by two more days, as it continued to hear a challenge against the KVS decision of setting six years as the minimum age for admission to grade I in Kendriya Vidyalayas from academic year 2022-23.
Justice Rekha Palli on April 11 will continue to hear the petitions seeking admission of children aged 5 years to class I of Kendriya Vidyalayas. April 11 was the last date for submitting online applications for admissions to grade I. Since the court could not hear the matter completely on Friday, it asked the KVS to postpone the last date. The counsel representing the KVS agreed to the court suggestion.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre and KVS, argued that the criteria of six years was an integral part of the National Education Policy (NEP) and the decision had been taken on the basis of an evaluation made by experts. The court was also told that 21 states had adopted the criteria. “Since a Kendriva Vidyalaya is laboratory and pacesetter, it is therefore more incumbent that it is first to implement the NEP,” argued Sharma.
Sharma also told the court that 7 lakh applications had been received against 1 lakh seats. If the 5+ age group would be allowed to be admitted then there would be an age group of 5-6-7 in the grade I, which would create “heterogeneity of sorts” in a class that was challenging for a teacher.
The court was also told that the decision was in public knowledge since 2020 when the NEP was introduced, and that the children could take admission in other schools as well. It was also argued that admissions could stretch beyond summer vacation in case the relief sought was granted by the court.
Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, who represents one of the petitioners before the court, has argued that criteria has been arbitrarily set and announced just before the academic session without any deliberations. “The parents have not been given sufficient time to make alternate arrangements,” Aggarwal has contended.