THE CONSTITUTION (EIGHTY-SIXTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 2002

[12th December, 2002.]

 

An Act further to amend the Constitution of India.

 

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

1.  Short title and commencement.- (1) This Act may be called the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002.

     (2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

 

2. Insertion of new article 21A.- After article 21 of the Constitution, the following article shall be inserted, namely:-

Right to education.-

"21A. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.".

 

3. Substitution of new article for article 45.- For article 45 of the Constitution, the following article shall be

substituted, namely:- .

 

Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.

 

"45. The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.".

 

4. Amendment of article 51A.- In article 51A of the Constitution, after clause (J), the following clause shall be added,

namely:-

 

"(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.".

 

SUBHASH C.  JAIN,

Secy.to the Govt.  of India.

 


 

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

 

 

               The Constitution of India in a Directive Principle contained in article 45, has 'made a provision for free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of fourteen years within ten years of promulgation of the Constitution. We could not achieve this goal even after 50 years of adoption of this provision. The task of providing education to all children in this age group gained momentum after the National Policy of Education (NPE) was announced in 1986. The Government of India, in partnership with the State Governments, has made strenuous efforts to fulfil this mandate and, though significant improvements were seen in various educational indicators, the ultimate goal of providing universal and quality education still remains unfulfilled. In order to fulfil this goal, it is felt that an explicit provision should be made in the Part relating to Fundamental Rights of the Constitution.         

 

               2. With a view to making right to free and compulsory education a fundamental right, the Constitution (Eighty-third Amendment) Bill, 1997 was introduced in Parliament to insert a new article, namely, article 21 A conferring on all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years the right to free and compulsory education. The said Bill was scrutinised by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development and the subject was also dealt with in its 165th Report by the Law Commission of India.

 

               3. After taking into consideration the report of the Law Commission of India and the recommendations of the Standing Committee of Parliament, the proposed amendments in

Part III, Part IV and Part IVA of the Constitution are being made which are as follows:-

 

                (a) to provide for free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6 to 14 years and for this purpose, a legislation would be introduced in Parliament after the Constitution (Ninety-third Amendment) Bill, 200l is enacted;

 

               (b) to provide in article 45 of the Constitution that the State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years; and       

 

               (c) to amend article 5lA of the Constitution with a view to providing that  it shall be the obligation of the parents to provide opportunities for education to their children.

                                             

               3. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.  

 

 

MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI.

NEWDELHI;

The 16th November, 2001.