Right to Education

Right to Education

Detailed below is a Brief account of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill's turbulent journey:

• In 2002, the 86th Constitutional Amendment was passed.

• In 2003, the first draft of the Right to Education bill was circulated for public

• In 2004, the second draft of the bill, drafted after consideration of the feedback to the first draft, was posted on the Education Department website.

• In June 2005, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee drafted the ‘Right to Education Bill' and submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). MHRD sent it to the National Advisory Council (NAC) where Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was the Chairperson. The NAC sent the Bill to the Prime Minister for his observation.

• In July 2006, the finance committee and planning commission rejected the Bill citing the lack of funds and a Model bill was sent to states for the making necessary arrangements. (Post-86th amendment, States had already cited lack of funds at State level)

• The States promptly sent the model bill back to the Centre citing lack of funds.The bill was virtually buried for two years.

• In February, 2008 the Ministry of Human Resource Development circulated another draft of the bill.

• In August, 2008 the Union Cabinet referred the Right to Education Bill to the Group of Ministers (GoM), a high-powered group of ministers formed to look into operationalising the Fundamental Right to Education.

• On October 31, 2008 the Union Cabinet cleared a revised draft of the bill, as yet unreleased to the public. The GoM had passed on the draft to the Cabinet earlier that month.

• On 1 November, 2008, the Union Cabinet cleared the long-pending Right to Education Bill, which promises free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14.

• On 15 December, 2008 the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha and released to the public on the Rajya Sabha website.

• On 18 February, 2009 the Standing Committee released its report of recommendations and placed it before both the houses of Parliament, which were in session at the time.

• On 26 February, 2009 the Parliament ended its budget session without passing the bill.

• On 20 July, 2009 the Rajya Sabha passed the bill with minor changes to the 2008 draft bill.

• On 4 August, 2009 the Lok Sabha passed the bill.  

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