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SC refuses to entertain petition for uniform education system

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The Supreme Court today (July 17) refused to entertain a public interest petition seeking uniform education with common syllabus and curriculum for all children aged between 6-14 years, across the country.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph heard the plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking a system of common syllabus and curriculum for all children in the age group of 6-14 years.

The court, while not considering the petition under Article 32, gave the petitioner the liberty of using other remedies under law. Advocate Upadhyay will therefore submit a detailed representation to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the HRD Minister and will approach the High Court under Article 226 after one month if required.

During the hearing, Justice DY Chandrachud stated that merging one board with the other is not a Court’s function. “How can you ask the court to merge one board with the other? These are not the functions of the court. Our students are already burdened with heavy school bags on their shoulders. Why do you want to add to their burden by adding more books?” Justice Chandrachud asked.

A plea was filed before Supreme Court seeking directions for merging of Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) Board and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for establishment of “One Nation One Education Board”.

The petitioner had asked the Apex Court to check the feasibility of constitution of a National Education Council, or National Education Commission to implement the uniform education system.

According to the petitioner, a uniform education system having common syllabus and curriculum up to secondary level, will have many benefits. It will ensure equal opportunity to all students throughout territory of India in spirit of Articles 14-16, will promote fraternity, unity and national integration among students of different education boards and will also curtail the menace of linguism, regionalism and the feeling of being rich or poor.

The Centre and state government have not taken suitable steps to introduce uniform education system in spirit of Article 21-A that provides for free and compulsory education and will also ensure that all the students have a level playing field for what they aspire to be.

The petition also stated that the disparity between state board and CBSE -affiliated schools cannot be fully removed but a standardized entrance system for college and university aspirants can be established by the Centre.

– India Legal Bureau

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