The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the central government after a 12-year-old boy from Chandigarh, through his father, filed a petition alleging that the age criteria for admission to the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) in Dehradun are in violation of the National Education Policy (NEP).
The petitioner, Sarthak Sangwan, is a student of Class VI at a school in Chandigarh and was born on October 15, 2010. The petition seeks to quash the notification dated February 3, issued by RIMC, inviting applications for examination for admission to Class VIII and fixing the age criteria between 11-and-a-half years minimum and a maximum of 13 years.
According to NEP 2020, the minimum criteria for admission to Class 8 is 13 years, and the petitioner argues that the Chandigarh administration also follows NEP 2020 norms. Due to the disparity in age criteria for admission to Class 8, all students in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and 21 other states will not be eligible for the examination conducted by RIMC, Dehradun, this year, the petition argues.
The petitioner has also sought directions to remove the anomaly in the age criteria of the RIMC admission notification and align it with NEP 2020. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the current age criteria notified by RIMC would result in discrimination and unfair advantage to other students if NEP 2020 is not followed.
Justice Vikas Bahl issued the notice after hearing the petition, and the Ministry of Defence, the Union Education Ministry, and RIMC have been asked to submit a response by April 11. The petitioner has requested the court to direct RIMC to align its admission age criteria with NEP 2020, which states that the minimum age for admission of a student to Class 1 should be six years or above.
It also cites the example of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) in Delhi, which has already fixed the minimum age for admission of a student to Class 1 as six years or above in conformity with NEP 2020.