It is heartening to note that education is to become a Fundamental Right in India for the children between the age group of 6 and 14 living in India. Recently the Indian cabinet took a unanimous decision to that effect. The decision will have far reaching consequences in the Indian society.
Hitherto education has been in the category of Directive Principles of State Policy and one of the welfare measures to be taken by the Indian Government to achieve the Welfare State Ideal. However, it was not a right but only an ideal to be achieved. Hence, a child who has no opportunity for education could not claim it as a matter of right in a court of law. In other words, by the inclusion of education as the directive principles of state policy, it was not justiciable, which means a child cannot go to court pleading that he or she has no opportunity for education.
Any child who is born in India by virtue of its birth becomes the citizen of India. By becoming a citizen of India,now the child is automatically entitled to enjoy the ‘Fundamental Right of Education’. A child, who is in the age group of between 6 and 14 and who has no opportunity for education, can now get his or her grievances redressed through a court of law, because education as a Fundamental Right becomes justiciable.
By virtue of making education as a Fundamental Right, it creates yet another direct impact on the existing social malady called ‘the Child Labor’ While enforcing education as a Fundamental Right for children between the age group of 6 and 14, the child labor will naturally and gradually have its own demise.
Further the gender bias that prevails in the rural India, robbing educational opportunities to thousands of girl children will also have a check and one can hope more and more number of rural girl children will have an opportunity for education. Similarly dropouts from school by the rural children in the above age group, on social and economical grounds will also considerably or significantly get reduced or even wiped out.
When education becomes a Fundamental Right, both the Central and State Governments will allocate more funds to implement education as a Fundamental Right, besides establishing more schools and recruiting more teachers to educate children between the age group of 6 and 14.
With its newly found status as a growing world power, the Indian Government has taken a right step, in the right direction, in the right moment. Kudos to Indian Government!