Right To Education, With Special Reference To Higher Education
Education is an integral part of human development. Education not only plays a role in the development of an individual rather the entire nation. Right is free and compulsory primary education is a universal human right accorded the status of customary international law. Though the Indian Constitution in its inception never had the right to education as a fundamental right, it was present in the framers' minds while putting free and compulsory primary education as a state duty under Article 45 of our Constitution. Judges of the Supreme Court welded Part IV (Directive principle of State Policy) to Part III (Fundamental Rights) and made free and compulsory education a fundamental right. Later Indian Constitution was amended to provide primary education as a fundamental right. Though education is of paramount importance for building a nation, higher education is often ignored as a right. Higher education is often treated as a luxury rather than a necessity. International Conventions also give limited rights to higher education, limiting the right only to accessibility. India also does not have any right to higher education, though the Indian Judiciary considered access to all levels of education without discrimination as the duty of a welfare state. There is a prominent gap in India between accessible quality education at all levels. The paper also examines the need for free higher education for increased accessibility for poorer sections of the society.