The court was hearing a plea alleging that the majority of government schools here are not offering their students science and commerce streams at the intermediate level.
In its affidavit, the Department of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government said that "science stream is available in 291 government and 76 government-aided schools and commerce stream is available in 743 government and 128 government-aided schools..."
It further said that the DoE was divided into 29 zones, each having a small geographical area and every zone had sufficient number of schools equipped with science and commerce streams for Class XI and XII, so that students could opt for their desired stream.
It stated that as per the data of the last five years, despite an increase in the number of schools offering science stream by nearly 18 per cent, the enrolment in the stream had increased by only 8.5 per cent.
Similarly, despite an increase in the number of schools offering commerce stream by over 36 per cent, the enrolment in this stream had decreased by 0.6 per cent, it said, adding that adequate facilities were in place for studying science and commerce streams as per the demand of students.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had pointed out that the distribution of schools offering science and commerce streams is "alarmingly uneven".
"Depriving students from taking science or commerce stream at intermediate level amounts to depriving them of their right to choose a profession or carry on any occupation, trade or business of own choice as guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India," the plea said.
"It is evident from the government records that there are 'shadow pockets' in different regions of Delhi that do not offer science and commerce streams at all in their academic curriculum," stated the petition filed through advocate G.M. Akhtar.
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