One Nation One Education Board: The Supreme Court Dismissed PIL seeking Uniform Education!

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In the Supreme court, a 3-judge bench of Indu Malhotra, Dr. DY Chandrachud, and KM Joseph, JJ has rejected to consider public interest litigation seeking directions for equal education with a standard syllabus and curriculum for all children aged between 6-14 years across the country. The court heard a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud stated that students are already overburdened with heavy school bags that they shoulder. The bench asked the petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay: Why do you want to increase their burden by adding more books?

Petitioner argued that the relief demanded was following the provisions of Article 21A of the Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. The prevailing education system is not able to give standard and uniform opportunities for students of all strata of society.

The three-judge tribunal said that these are cases that fall within the domain of specialists. Furthermore, the relief that comes with the introduction of a “common textbook with a chapter on the Constitution” is also a matter of policy. The school syllabus includes topics of the knowledge of duties, rights, and governance as per the Constitution.”

The petitioner who is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, argued in court that ICSE and CBSE should be merged to form “one nation one education board in the country”.

How can you demand the court to merge the ICSE board with the CBSE board? These aren’t the duties of the court, Justice Chandrachud stated.

The tribunal which refuses to consider the petition said that the claimant may approach the government with the plea and his complaints because these matters involve policies. The tribunal further stated that the supreme court cannot interfere in these matters.

In the alternative, he has submitted that if the court is unwilling to accept a writ petition, then the petition can be permitted to be treated as a statement and therefore registry should be instructed to forward the statement to the respondents for consideration the proposals which have been created.

Many people earlier proposed the establishment of one education board in the country. This proposal has repeatedly rejected.

Currently, India has three national-level boards, namely the NIOS (National Open School Board), the ICSE Board, CBSE board. Also, in India, each state has its own Board of Education like Punjab, which has PSEB (Punjab School Education Board). Some states of the country have separate boards for open school as well as madrasa education while other states (for example Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana) have two separate boards–one for Class 10 and other for the higher secondary–11 and 12 classes.

The National committee prescribes the NCERT syllabus while the State Council stipulates the SCERT curriculum design in their respective states.

However, in the past few years, state councils have been trying to align the curriculum with the NCERT Syllabus for grades 9 to 12. The fact that most national level entrance exams are based on the “NCERT Syllabus” prompted this move. Uttar Pradesh has successfully applied NCERT to the UPMSP board.

The tribunal led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told the petitioner and the BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay that this is a policy issue and cannot be ruled by the court.

The PIL sought a direction to seem the feasibility of establishing the ‘One Nation One Education Board‘ by merging the Central Board of Secondary Education and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Board.

Top Court of India declared on Friday that it will not consider the complaint under Article 32, and the petitioner can use other remedies following the law. So, first of all, I will submit a detailed statement to the Prime Minister, HM & HRD Minister, and if necessary, I will approach the High court under Article 226 one month later, BJP leader Upadhyay stated.

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