New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking direction from the Centre to implement a uniform education system, common syllabus and common curriculum in the mother language, up to Standard 12 for all students in consonance with and in furtherance of constitutional goals of socialism, secularism, equality of status, equal opportunity, fraternity, unity and integrity of the nation.
The plea states that the syllabus and curriculum are common for all entrance examinations viz Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Management Aptitude Test (MAT), National Eligibility Test (NET), National Defence Academy (NDA), Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CU-CET), Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET), Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), National Entrance Screening Test (NEST), Probationary Officer (PO), Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), All India Entrance Examination for Design (AIEED), National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA), Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) etc.
But, the syllabus and curriculum of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and State Boards are totally different. Thus, students don't get equal opportunity in the spirit of Articles 14-16, stated the plea.
The petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, practising lawyer and BJP leader, alleged that school mafias don't want one nation-one education board, "Coaching mafias don't want One Nation-One Syllabus and book mafias don't want NCERT books in all schools. That is why a uniform education system up to standard 12 has not been implemented yet."
Petitioner submitted that the present education system is not only dividing the society among Economically Weaker Section (EWS), Below Poverty Line (BPL), Middle Income Group (MIG), High Income Group (HIG), elite class but also against 'socialism secularism fraternity unity and integrity of the nation'.
"Moreover, it does not provide equal opportunity to all students as syllabus-curriculum of CBSE, ICSE and State Board is totally different. Although harmonious-purposive construction of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A with Articles 38, 39, 46 confirms that education is the most important fundamental right and the state cannot discriminate on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, class or culture," he submitted.
The petitioner further submitted that the student of a government school is ill-equipped to compete with the student of a private school that provides a British/French (International Baccalaureate) system of education and the gap becomes wider due to Section 1(4) and 1(5) of the Right To Education Act.
"Even though this disparity cannot be fully removed but the government can establish a standardized entrance system for college and university aspirants. Standardization of syllabus and curriculum means that everyone would have equal chances of getting into colleges and universities," Kumar said.
"The right to education is a fundamental right. Therefore, it must be at the same level and similar standard, and not based on the child's socioeconomic conditions. The children have the right to avail free compulsory and common education irrespective of their social-economic religious and cultural background," said the plea.
"Uniform education for all students up to 12th standard would achieve the code of common culture, removal of disparity and depletion of discriminatory values in human relations among the citizens of this great nation. Moreover, it would enhance virtues and improve the quality of human life, elevate thoughts, which advance the constitutional philosophy of egalitarian society," read the petition.