RTE ACT 2009 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     7th May 2024        
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Context: The Bombay High Court recently issued a stay on the Maharashtra government's February 9 notification exempting private schools within a one-kmradius of government or aided schools from RTE Act quota admissions until further orders.

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

  • Origin: It is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009.
  • Objective: aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
  • Features

oCreating inclusive spaces for all: 25% reservation for disadvantaged groups which include SCs and STs, Socially Backward Class and differently abled. Five States namely Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Telangana have not issued notification regarding 25% seats for underprivileged children of society under the RTE.

oCompulsory and free education for all: It is obligatory for the Government to provide free and compulsory elementary education to each and every child, in a neighbourhood school within 1 km, up to class 8 in India.

oBenchmark mandate: Specifies standards and norms for Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTR), infrastructure and buildings, working days of the school and for the teachers.

oNo Detention Policy: It was introduced as a part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) under the Right to Education Act (RTE) in 2010.

oJusticiable: The Right to Education Act is justiciable and is backed by a Grievance Redressal (GR) mechanism that allows people to take action against non-compliance of provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 21: Unnikrishnan JP vs State of Andhra Pradesh & Others (1993): SC held that Education is a Fundamental right under Article 21.
  • Article 21A: 86th Constitutional Amendment (2002): It inserted Article 21A which made Right to Education a fundamental right for children between 6-14 years.
  • Article 45: It states that the state should provide free and compulsory education to children up to the age of 14.
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