The Right to Education Act or RTE Act, 2009 is a landmark legislation in India
that makes education a fundamental right for all children between the ages of 6
and 14. This law came into force on 1st April 2010 and aims to provide free and
compulsory education for all children in India. Some of the effects of the RTE
law are listed below.
It was enacted by the Indian Parliament on 4 August 2009.
It describes the modality of the meaning of free compulsory education for
children from 6 to 14 in India under Article 21(A) of the Indian Constitution.
The law came into force on 1st April 2010, making India one of 135 countries
that have made education a basic right for every child.
The 86th Constitutional
Amendment (2002) added Article 21A to the Constitution of India, stating:
State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age
of six to fourteen years in the manner prescribed by law. "The right to
education was subsequently declared a fundamental right and removed from the
list of guiding principles of national policy.
Features of the RTE Act
The RTE Act aims to provide primary education for all children between the ages
of 6 and 14. Compulsory education is a basic right (Article 21). The law
mandates the reservation of 25% to disadvantaged groups in society. It also
divides financial and other responsibilities between central and state
Children who complete primary education receive a certificate. The
call must be accepted to make the student-teacher relationship permanent. 25%
reservation to economically disadvantaged communities in class I admissions to
all private schools. Improving the quality of education is important. 4,444
school teachers must obtain appropriate professional qualifications within five
years. School infrastructure (if any) should be improved every three years.
Financial burdens are shared between the state and central governments.
Important case Laws related to the Right to Education Act 2009
- Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka, 1992
The Court acknowledged that the right to education was not explicitly
established as a fundamental right, but read Article 21 together with the
Guiding Principles of Articles 38, 39, 41, and 45. At the time, the court felt
that the drafters of the Constitution wanted to impose compulsory education. A
country that has an obligation to provide education to its citizens. Bench also
said charging head count constitutes class discrimination and violates Article
14 of the Constitution. Bench took an absolutist position when imposing an
obligation on states to provide education at all levels.
- Unnikrishnan, JP V. State of Andhra Pradesh 1993
Mohini Jain's case was reviewed before a higher bench in this case. The Court
reiterated that the right to education is a fundamental right that directly
stems from the right to life guaranteed in Article 21. However, the court also
noted that this parameter of the right to education is not absolute. It should
be decided in the light of principles.
In doing so, the Court partially turned
away from the broader view of the State's obligation to provide education at all
levels, ruling that: Every citizen (child) must be 14 years of age. have the
right to free education up to After 14 years, such rights will depend on the
economic capacity and development of the state. Regarding the down payment, the
court ruled that private providers of free education could charge higher fees,
but must be limited to a particular ceiling.
- Pramati Educational and Cultural Trust V. Union of India 2014
The case was a reference from the 2010 bench judgment of three judges in the
Rajasthan Private Schools Association v. Union of India and the ors. case. In
this case, the bench upheld the constitutional validity of the child's right to
the Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act) and Article 21-A. This
reaffirmed the Court's previous position in the Society's case. The latter part
of the Pramati case excludes all minority institutions from the scope of the RTE
Act. This is an extension of the self-powered pvt association exemption. The
case of a school that was limited to unsupported minority institutions. Minority
institutions here mean both constitutionally mandated religious and linguistic
The Significance of the Right to Education Act 2009
- Increased School Enrollment:
The RTE Act has significantly increased school
enrollment across India. The law mandated schools to provide free and compulsory
education for all children and also provided financial support to help schools
meet that obligation.
- Improving Infrastructure:
The RTE Act has helped improve the infrastructure and
facilities of schools across India. The law requires schools to provide basic
facilities such as drinking water, toilets, and playgrounds. Funds were also
provided for the construction and renovation of school buildings.
- Greater Accountability:
The RTE Act introduced a system of greater
accountability for Indian schools and education providers. The law includes
school monitoring and evaluation provisions and establishes mechanisms for
- Inclusive Education:
The RTE Act has helped promote inclusive education in
India. The law stipulates that children with disabilities, children from
socially and economically disadvantaged groups, and children living in remote
areas are entitled to free compulsory education. The law also prohibits
discrimination against children based on sex, caste, religion, or ethnicity.
- Reducing school dropout rates:
The RTE Act has reduced school dropout rates
among school children in India. The law requires all children from the age of 6
to 14 to attend school and provides financial assistance to families who are
unable to send their children to school. This allowed more children to stay in
school and complete their education.
- Women's Empowerment:
The RTE Act has empowered women in India by promoting
gender equality in education. The law ensures equal access to education for
girls and prevents discrimination based on gender. This has increased the number
of girls attending school and completing their education.
The law was drafted hastily without giving much thought or advice to the quality
of education provided to children under the age of six who are exempt from the
law. Many of the law-based programs have been plagued by allegations of
corruption and inefficiency, compared to previous educational programs such as
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
At the time of admission, many documents such as birth
certificates, and BPL certificates are required. The move appears to have
excluded orphans from the beneficiaries of the law. Private schools, such as EWS,
had a 25% capacity, which was a hurdle to implementation. Some of the challenges
in this context are discriminatory behaviors in response to parents' and
students' difficulties in adjusting to different socio-cultural environments.
Concerning the "no detention" policy up to grade 8, the 2019 legislative change
introduced regular annual examinations for grade 5 and grade 8.
Children's age should be increased from 6 to 14 years old. It should also be
elevated to secondary education and vocational courses. Most importantly,
parents must be made aware of the RTE Act 2009 through counseling, the media,
leaflets campaigns, and rallies, as they play a key role in shaping their
children's careers through education.
Severe penalties for violations of this
law should be prescribed and responsibilities of state and central governments,
parents, teachers, administrators, school owners, children, and members of
society should be established. A teacher's quality is the backbone of any
Therefore, an unskilled and unintentional teacher can ruin any
program, no matter how groundbreaking. To achieve good results for the RTE Act
2009, it is very important to create a standard training program for teacher
training. The judiciary is therefore expected to play a key role in enforcing
the 2009 RTE Act. Action & b should continue to act as the first point of
contact and resolve complaints in the absence of appropriate statutory
The importance of education in today's digitalized, fast-paced world is very
clear. More than 60 years after India's independence, the right to education was
given the solemn status of a fundamental right, a constitutional maker's dream
comes true. This turnaround in education is a crown jewel that other states can
only dream of. But unless the loopholes and gray areas under this noble law are
properly patched to ensure its proper effectiveness, and its proper
implementation is enforced, this great law will remain toothless and clawless.
It is inevitable that you will face the sad fate of an old tiger.
Written By: Joyleen Meki
, 2nd-year student at Lovely Professional University
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