Indian Constitution was formally instituted in the country on January 26, 1950. There are many parts of this Constitution which have educational implications of far reaching importance. We shall try to understand some of the more important ones of these in this chapter.
The Indian Constitution has regarded ‘Education’ chiefly as a State subject, i.e., this aspect will fall totally under the jurisdiction of the Governments of the various States comprising the Union subject to the Power of the Union Government to determine a general educational policy to be followed by all the States of the Union for maintaining a minimum standard of education in some specific areas.
The framers of the Constitution have rightly realised that for success of democracy, elementary education should be made free and universal. The 45th Article of the Constitution has laid down that within ten years after the introduction of the Constitution all the children within 14 years of age will be provided free and compulsory elementary education.
(i) 29th Article is related with education of minorities. This Clause guarantees the rights of minorities with regard to the protection of their language-scripts and culture, provided they are Indian citizens in any State of the Union or in any territory under direct administration of the Central Government.
(ii) It has also been laid down that no Indian citizen will be deprived of admission to any educational institution run through the Government financial assistance on the basis of religion, caste, language and heredity.
(iii) The Article No. 30 specifies that all types of minorities will have the freedom of establishing their own educational institutions under their own administrative control.
(iv) It is further laid down that the government will not refuse to give financial assistance to any school on the ground of its being under the management of any minority group associated with any particular religion or language.
The 28th Article has granted religious freedom to all the citizens. It is further laid down that no religious education will be imparted in a school which is run on full financial assistance of the Government. It has also been specified that if any religious education is given in such a school (enjoying Government financing help) no student can be compelled to attend its religious classes without, permission of the concerned guardian of the student.
The Indian Constitution has granted full equal right to all citizens to attend any educational institution of his choice. This feature has been clearly explained in the 29th Article.
In the 46th Article rights for education of these types of citizens are fully protected. Thus the State; protects every one against social injustice and exploitation.
In the 15th Article (Section No. 3) it has been laid down that in any State of the country there will be no restriction for establishing any educational institution or organization for the upliftment of women and children.
Protection of Language:
I in the 9th Article (Section No. 1) it has been mentioned that citizens of any part of India will have the right of protection of their language, script and culture. It has also been stated in the Clause No. 350 (a) I that children of minorities should be given opportunities of primary education through their own mother tongues. If need be, the President of the Union may issue directive for this purpose. It has also been said in the Article No. 350 (b) that the Government may appoint a Special Officer for protecting the language rights of minorities. This Officer will be directly responsible to the President of the Union.
I In the Article No. 343, it has been declared that Hindi in the Devanagiri script will be the national I language of the country. It has been stated that it will be the duty of the Union Government to do everything possible for all types of development of Hindi Language.
If education is made a Central subject, the State Government will not take interest in implementing the various education plans. In a democratic set-up it is very necessarily that the State Governments, too, share the responsibility of imparting education to people. If this is not done the State Government will become indifferent to educational growth in their respective areas.
In fact, neither the Centre nor the State Government can be left free to introduce any educational reforms. We have to remove the inadequacies in our pattern of education, which have become inherent in the system since the last 250 years. Therefore both the Central and State Governments should cooperate in the educational enterprises in the country.
The Centre has to formulate a general policy in order to ensure a minimum standard for all at the various stages of education and the State has to carry out the same to fruitful conclusions.