Fundamental Rights are basic essential rights for an individual’s survival. Part III of the Constitution of India elaborates Fundamental Rights that are required to safeguard individual liberty and to ensure social, economic and political justice to everyone in India. Article 14-32 of the Indian Constitution elaborates the Fundamental Rights. The Right to Education (RTE) – Article 21A was inserted by 86th Amendment Act in 2002 to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years. Fundamental Rights as provided in the Indian Constitution are:
- Right to Equality
- Right to Freedom
- Right against exploitation
- Right to freedom of religion
- Cultural and educational rights
- Right to constitutional remedies
Few quick facts:
- Every individual is entitled to fundamental rights
- Legislature has to make laws in accordance with the fundamental rights
- Judiciary is the guardian of the fundamental rights
- Legislature cannot amend the ‘Basic Features’ of the constitution, which indeed includes the basic fundamental rights.
What is Right to Education Act?
Based on the Fundamental Right article 21A, the legislature passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009. The act provided 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. (MHRD)
What is the latest amendment to RTE about?
During the Monsoon Session that began on 18th July, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed an amendment to RTE act to abolish ‘no-detention policy’ mentioned in the act.
According to the existing policy, schools cannot not detain a student if she/he fails in the exam till he completes elementary schooling. The elementary schooling in India is from Grade 1- Grade 8. Till Grade 8, the student will be promoted irrespective of his results.
According to the amendment act, if it becomes a law after Rajya Sabha passing it in the parliament, the State can hold examinations at the end of Grade 5 or Grade 8 and if the students fail the examination even after given a second opportunity, then the States can decide to detain the students.
However, the States are given the discretionary power to continue the ‘no-detention policy’ till students complete the elementary education, i.e., till they complete Grade 8.
Amendment: A minor change or addition designed to improve a text, piece of legislation, etc.
Detain: Keep (someone) from proceeding by holding them back
Exploitation: The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
Constitutional Remedies: Solution/provisions provided by the constitution to protect and enforce the Fundamental Rights.