The 86th Constitutional Amendment (2002) inserted Article 21A in the Indian Constitution which states:
“The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State, may by law determine.”
Right to Education Act
The Act is completely titled “the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act”. It was passed by the Parliament in August 2009. When the Act came into force in 2010, India became one among 135 countries where education is a fundamental right of every child.
- As per this, the right to education was made a fundamental right and removed from the list of Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The RTE is the consequential legislation envisaged under the 86th Amendment.
- The article incorporates the word “free” in its title. What it means is that no child (other than those admitted by his/her parents in a school not supported by the government) is liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
- This Act makes it obligatory on the part of the government to ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children falling in the age bracket six to fourteen years.
- Essentially, this Act ensures free elementary education to all children in the economically weaker sections of society.