Thursday, July 7, 2016

Right to Education Act and Minority Rights

Right to Education Act (RTE) on 2009 for free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
Provisions which are Universally Applicable
1. Article 29(2): a government-aided minority school cannot discriminate against students on grounds of religion, race, caste, language in the matters of their admission
2. Provisions and norms: RTE Act has universal provisions on infrastructural norms, pupil-teacher ratio, prohibition on screening tests and capitation fee and ban on corporal punishment without discrimination
3. Article 21A: in the Indian constitution making Education a fundamental Right
Conflicting Provisions:
1. Cultural Trust v. Union of India (2014) & Pramati judgment: SC had exempted minority schools from the purview of the RTE Act 
2. No-detention policy (NDP): obligation not in the Act but under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and in the “best interest” of the child and could independently be considered a fundamental right
3. Rights of minorities: RTE conflict Article 30 with the specific contexts of the rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. But it is not absolute and not misadministration. So RTE can be enforced for its benefit.
Recent conflicting judgments- Sobha George and Pramati needs a ‘constitutionally-permissible balance’ between right to education and minority rights requires an interpretation that makes them mutually reinforcing rather than irreconcilable.

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