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The ‘Fundamentals’ of the Fundamental Right to Education in India

research, Right to Education

Researched and written by

Dr Niranjanaradhya and Aruna Kashyap

Designed and Published by

Book of Change

India is signatory to three key international instruments that guarantee the Right to Education – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Covenant), 1966 and the (UDHR) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989. In 2002, India joined, albeit after fifty-two years of Independence, the host of countries that provide a constitutional guarantee for free and compulsory education (FCE).

 Article 21–A of the Indian Constitution casts a duty upon the State to provide FCE to children in the age group of six to fourteen years, ‘as the State may, by law, determine’. India is signatory to three key international instruments that guarantee the Right to Education – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Covenant), 1966 and the (UDHR) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989. In 2002, India joined, albeit after fifty-two years of Independence, the host of countries that provide a constitutional guarantee for free and compulsory education (FCE). Article 21–A of the Indian Constitution casts a duty upon the State to provide FCE to children in the age group of six to fourteen years, ‘as the State may, by law, determine’.

Historically, there has been a demand for a law for FCE in India and several Central-level legislative attempts have been taken towards this end. The last of such attempts resulted in the Draft Right to Education Bill, 2005. One of several oppositions to this Bill came from private unaided schools. They lobbied against a provision that required them to make a twenty-five per cent reservation for poor children. The Centre kept this Bill in abeyance and circulated to all States a modified version – the Model Right to Education Bill, 2006 (Model Bill). A reading of the Model Bill reveals that some provisions were removed from the original draft. The provision for reservation in private unaided schools was one of them.

Click here to read more: http://www.ncpcr.gov.in/Acts/Fundamental_Right_to_Education_Dr_Niranjan_Aradhya_ArunaKashyap.pdf

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