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Right to Education Law Ruled "Valid"

Last week, the Indian Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of provisions contained in the “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.”  The law makes education a fundamental right and reserves 25% of school seats in both public and private institutions for economically and socially disadvantaged children.  According to the ruling, it applies uniformly to country-wide, government schools and unsubsidized private schools, but not unsubsidized private schools which serve minority populations.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, hailed the decision and commented, “Human rights law is clear – no one should be deprived of basic education because it is unaffordable.” 

Private education providers from groups such as the Society of Unaided Private Schools and the Independent Schools Federation of India petitioned against the Right to Education law, citing that it violated their autonomy.

“With the rapid expansion of private education, strong laws are needed to ensure that the private sector complies with national education norms and human rights principles relating to the right to education,” Mr. Singh said.

More information:

India: UN Expert hails decision by Supreme Court upholding right to education for all (United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

India Launches Children’s Right to Education (BBC News)