“We are committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of gender and social category, have access to education. An education that enables them to acquire the skill, knowledge, values, and attitudes necessary to become responsible and active citizens of India”.
The Right to Education
The right to education was initially not included as a fundamental right in the constitution and was included as a Directive Principle under Article 45 which required the state to endeavors to provide, with in a period of 10 years from the commencement of the constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years. The directive in Article 45 was not confined merely to primary education; it extends to providing free education up to the age of 14 years, whatever the stage of education it came to. Therefore, education for children of this age group should have been free. During this period the Supreme Court imply the ‘Right to education’ from other Articles of constitution such as Article 21, 24, 30(i), and 39(e) & (f). The Court emphasized that the solemn obligation placed on the state by Article 45 “to provide for free and compulsory education for children” can be discharged by it through government and aided school and that Article 45 does not required that obligation to be discharged at the expense of the minority communities.
86th Constitutional Amendment Act (2002)
The Constitutional Amendment is made with regards for protecting the citizen’s rights of education, as well as know the challenges in India regarding education; 86th Amendment act 2002, makes three exact provisions in Constitution to facilitate understanding of free and compulsory education to children’s between age 6 to 14 years as a Fundamental Right. These are as follows:-
Adding Article 21A in part III initiated that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.
Bring alteration and modification in Article 45 and substituted as the state shall endeavors to assure early childhood care and free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.
The insertion of new clause in Article 51 A, clearly mandates the parents or guardians to furnish opportunities for education of their children between the age group of 6 to 14 years.[Article 51A (k)]
Reasons behind RTE Act 2009
1950, Constitution of India provided under article 45, as one of the Directive Principles of state policy.
1968, First National Commission established for education under the supervision of Dr. Kothari and submits its reports (several changes).
1976, Constitutional Amendment for making education in a concurrent subject (responsibility of central and state)was passed.
1986, The National Policy on Education (NPE) supports to common school system (css) and was formulated but not implemented.
1993, The Supreme Court in the case of Mohini Jain and Unnikrishnan vs state of Andhra Pradesh ruled that the right to education is a fundamental right that flows from the Right to life in article 21 under Indian constitution.
1997, Constitutional Amendment for making education as a fundamental right was introduced.
2002, 86th Constitutional Amendment took place and insertion of Article 21A and brings changes in Article 45 and also added a new fundamental duty under Article 51A (k).
Mohini Jain vs State of Karnataka
In this case Miss Mohini Jain, a resident of Meerut applied for admission to the MBBS course in the session commencing in 1991 to a private medical college located in the state of Karnataka. The college management asked her to deposit a sum of Rs 60000/- as the tuition fee for the first year and also to show a bank guarantee of the amount equal to the fee for the remaining year. When Miss Jain’s father intimated the management that the asked amount was beyond his reach, the management denied Ms. Jain’s admission to the medical college. Miss Jain informed the court that the management demanded an additional amount of Rs 450000/- however the management denied the allegation.
‘Right to education’ guaranteed to the people of India under the constitution.
Whether the charging of Capitation fees is violative of Article 14 and 21.
In this case the Supreme Court held that although the right to education as such has not been guaranteed as a fundamental right under the constitution, it becomes clear from the preamble of the constitution and its Directive Principles contained in part 4 that the framers of the constitution intended the state to provide education for its citizens. They also held that the charging of a capitation fee by the private educational institutions violated the right to education as implied from the right to life and human dignity and the right to equal protection of the law. In additional the court held that private institutions, acting as agent of the state have a duty to ensure equal access to and non discrimination the delivery of higher education.