Saturday, November 01, 2008

Education as fundamental right

I am prompted to write this post because of a question in the shout-box on Indian Current Affairs. The question was to the following effect:

"When the Constitution of India already has the 86th amendment, guaranteeing right to education as a fundamental right, where is the necessity for the government to introduce yet another bill in the Parliament?"

It is a good question. To understand the answer, take a look at the 86th amendment first. What does Article 21A now read as? It says that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, in such manner as the State may, by law, determine. This highlighted portion is the key.

The Constitution amendment has just given an enabling provision. It is for the State to come out with an appropriate law that prescribes the method and manner in which this fundamental right is to be secured for the citizens.