India launches children’s right to education

Children in India gain a legal right to a free education, the act, which was passed by the Indian parliament on 4 April 2009, describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.

India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.

The act also provides for establishment of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for supervising of proper implementation of the act, looking after the complaints and protection of Child Rights. Other provisions regarding improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and faculty have also been provided in the act.

A committee set up to study the funds requirement and funding estimated that Rs 1.71 trillion (US$38.2 billion) would be required in the next five years for implementing the Act, and the government agreed to sharing of funds in the ratio of 65 to 35 between the Centre and the states for implementing the law, with a ratio of 90 to 10 for the north-eastern states.

The Bill has been criticized for failing to maintain a uniform equitable standard of quality for all schools and for excluding children under six years of age.

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