The inspiring and nobly expressed preamble to our Constitution records the solemn resolve of the people of India to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and, amongst other things, to secure to all its citizens JUSTICE, LIBERTY, and EQUALITY and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation.
Assurance of education by the Constitution
One of the most cherished objects of our Constitution is, thus, to secure to all its citizens the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Nothing provokes and stimulates thought and expression in people more than education. It is education that clarifies our belief and faith and helps to strengthen our spirit of worship.
To implement and fortify these supreme purposes set forth in the preamble, Part III of our Constitution has provided for us certain fundamental rights.
- Article 14, which is one of the articles referred to in two of the questions, guarantees to every person, citizen or otherwise, equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
- Article 16 ensures equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. In order to avail themselves of the benefit of this Article all citizens will presumably have to have equal opportunity for acquiring the qualifications, educational or otherwise, necessary for such employment or appointment.
- Article 19(1) guarantees to citizens the right, amongst others, to freedom of speech and expression (sub-clause (a)) and to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business (sub-clause (g)).
These rights are, however, subject to social control permitted by cls. (2) and (6) of Art. 19.
- Under Art. 25 all persons are equally entitled, subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III, to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.
- Article 26 confers the fundamental right to every religious denomination or any section thereof, subject to public order, morality and health, to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, to manage its own affairs in matters of religion, to acquire property and to administer such property in accordance with law.
- The ideal being to constitute India into a secular State, no religious instruction is, under Art. 28(1), to be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds and under clause (3) of the same Article no person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds is to be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.
- Article 29(1) confers on any section of the citizens having a distinct language, script or culture of its own to have the right of conserving the same. Clause (2) of that Article provides that no citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only in religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
- Article 30, clause (1) of which is the subject-matter of question 2 of this reference, runs as follows: –
“(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.”
Directions to the state by the Constitution
While our fundamental rights are guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution, Part IV of it, on the other hand, lays down certain directive principles of State policy. The provisions contained in that Part are not enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are, nevertheless, fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.
- Article 39 enjoins the State to direct its policy towards securing, amongst other things, that the citizens, men and women, equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
- Article 41 requires the State within the limits of its economic capacity and development, to make effective provision for securing the right, inter alia, to education.
- Under Art. 45 the State must endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
- Article 46 requires the State to promote with special care the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Special Provisions to Certain Classes
Part XVI of our Constitution also makes certain special provisions relating to certain classes.
- Art. 330 provides for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.
- Article 331 provides for the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the House of the People.
- Reservations are made, by Arts. 332 and 333, for the representation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the Anglo-Indians in the Legislative Assembly of every State for ten years after which, according to Art. 334, these special provisions are to cease.
- Special provision is also made by Art. 336 for the Anglo-Indian community in the matter of appointment to certain services.