Bal Bharati Public School in Pitampura accounts for 60 of the 250 fake admissions discovered
The Delhi Police has unearthed an admission racket in which income certificates were forged to help well-off students get into schools under the quota reserved for children from the economically weaker sections (EWS).
Families with annual income less than Rs 1 lakh ($1,600) qualify under EWS. Private schools are required to reserve 25 percent of seats for EWS students in all fresh admissions from the entry level upwards. They are also required to provide free books, uniforms and writing material to EWS students.
According to media reports, one such ‘EWS student’ commutes to school in a Jaguar, while others are children of businessmen, traders and factory owners.
The police have so far identified around 250 fake EWS admissions, with many more expected.
According to Indian Express, Bal Bharati Public School in Pitampura accounts for 60 students out of the 250, the largest in a single school discovered so far.
The principal, Meenu Goswami, has been questioned by the Delhi Police which believes that Goswami, along with prime suspect Mukesh Sharma, allegedly rigged the lottery system to help non-eligible students secure admission under the EWS quota.
According to police sources, some 10 modules were active in prominent Delhi schools, in alleged connivance with school and SDM office authorities. Fake proofs of residence and certificates of income, forged voter IDs and other documents were submitted to claim seats reserved for EWS students.
In August 2014, the Crime Branch was tipped off about an organised EWS admissions racket in the city. Investigators asked all private schools for data and documents of nursery admissions for two years, and found admissions had been obtained on the basis of income certificates issued by SDM offices at Alipur, Saraswati Vihar and Rohini in northwest Delhi. Some of these certificates were allegedly forged.
According to investigators, the alleged kingpin and his touts hung out near leading private schools in the admissions season, targeting parents who appeared to be disappointed at their child not getting admission. They allegedly struck deals for between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh ($4,700-$7,900) to get their child in. Sometimes personal details, including names, were changed, and parents were advised to submit affidavits later to make “corrections” in the school’s records.
To prevent such a racket in the future, the Directorate of Education issued a circular last month asking all schools to verify application numbers of documents such as income certificates with the Delhi government’s Revenue Department, details of which are available online.