Slide 1: POLITICAL AND LEGAL DIMENSIONS OF RIGHT TO EDUCATION IN INDIA By - Adv. (Dr.) Santosh A. Shah Slide 2: 1. SIGNIFICANCE OF RIGHT TO EDUCATION Education and Human Rights whether they be Civil, Political, Social, Economic or Cultural have a direct relation. Even after completion of about 59 Years of independence, the literacy rate in India is still very low. This rate is indeed shameful for a country like India which dreams to be a super power of the world in the 21 st Century. The significance of right to education can very well be demonstrated from the following facts and figures. Slide 3: 1. Every election in India goes to show that, the elections are held on the basis of caste, communal politics and self interest. Corruption and criminalisation of politics has come to stay in this country. One of the main reasons for this state of affairs is, lack of education of our voters. 2. Poverty and Illiteracy are very closely related to each other. In India, education and development has shown a close link. For example, the States of Rajasthan, Bihar and Utter Pradesh have shown a low literacy rate and, therefore, are considered to be socially and economically backward as compared to certain other States in the Country. Slide 4: 3. Literacy especially literacy amongst women have a close nexus to control of population. 4. The places where there is high illiteracy rate would show a wide spread system of child labour. Slide 5: 5. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 states, “Education shall be directed to full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religion groups and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace". The right to education is therefore now part of international obligation of India. 6. Universalisation of Education strengthens democracy, reduces fundamentalism and gender discrimination. Slide 6: 2. POLITICAL AND LEGAL HISTORY OF RIGHT TO EDUCATION IN INDIA i) Pre Independence Period - British Rule - Freedom Struggle - Princely States Slide 7: ii) Post Independence Period A) Period prior 86th Constitutional Amendment making Right to Education a fundamental right. Slide 8: Preamble to the Constitution - Democracy, Justice, Freedom and Equality Slide 9: Article 45 of Constitution of India - Provision for Free & Compulsory Education for Children. "The state shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years". Slide 10: Article 21 - Protection of Life and Personal Liberty "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law". Slide 11: - Directive Principles V/s. Fundamental Rights Slide 12: Year Percentage of No. of Literacy Illiterates 1881 6.3% -- 1951 16.6% 29.39 Crores 1991 52.21% 49.18 Crores Slide 13: - Bureaucracy Control Slide 14: In Mohini Jain V/s. State of Karnataka in the year 1992, the Supreme Court observed, "Without making the Right to Education under Article 45 of the Constitution, a reality, the fundamental rights under Chapter 3 would remain beyond the reach of large majority which are illiterate". Slide 15: In Unnikrishnan V/s. State of Andra Pradesh, (1993) Justice P. Jeevanreddy observed; “The citizens have a fundamental right to education. The said right flows from Article 21. The right of education which is implicit in the right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 must be construed in the light of directive principles in Part 4 of the Constitution. The democracy is one where education is universal, where people understand what is good for them and the nation and people know how to govern themselves. The right of education in the context of Article 45 and Article 21 means : Slide 16: A) Every child / citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes the age of 14 years. B) After a child / citizen completes 14 years his right to education is circumscribed by the limits of the economic capacity of the State and its development. The time limit is found only in Article 45". Slide 17: 2B) Constitutional 86 th Amendment 2002 adding Article 21A, Substituting Article 45 & amending Article 51A, making Right to Education a fundamental right and the road ahead. Right to Education – “21A. The State shall provide free and compulsory education all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.” Slide 18: “ Art. 45. The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.” Slide 19: Amendment of Article 51A – In article 51A of the Constitution, after clause (J), the following clause shall be added, namely; “(k) who is parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years”. Slide 20: SUGGESTIONS & CONCLUSIONS : 1. Ceiling of Age 6 and 14 needs to be removed. 2. Meaningful and Quality Education 3. Financial Resources 4. Mid-day Meals Slide 21: 5. Use of Technology 6. Role of NGOs and Community Participation Example of Kerala and Nagaland 7. Politics that recognizes, education as a most important right of the citizen, is a call of hour and nation. Slide 22: 8. Legislation alongwith public participation will make Right to Education a reality. 9. Investment in Right to Education is an investment for the development of the Country.