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Secularism in India UPSC NOTE

 What is secularism in India

  • In India, secularism refers to the concept of separation of religion from the state.

Here are some key aspects:

  • Equality of Religions: The Indian constitution guarantees equal respect and freedom to all religions. 

  • There's no official state religion, and the government cannot favor any particular faith.

  • State's Neutrality: The government stays neutral in religious matters

  • It doesn't promote or interfere with religious practices. 

  • This includes things like not mandating religious instruction in state-run schools or using public funds for religious activities.

  • Some Exceptions: There are some exceptions to strict separation. 

  • For instance, some personal laws in India vary based on religion (e.g., marriage, inheritance).

  • The government can also financially assist in maintaining religious sites under certain conditions.

  • India's concept of secularism is distinct from some Western models

  • It emphasizes equal treatment of religions rather than a complete separation of religion from public life. 

  • This reflects India's long history of religious diversity and tolerance.

Articles 21A

  • Article 21A deals with the Right to Education

  • It was inserted into the constitution through the 86th Amendment Act in 2002

Here's a breakdown of what it guarantees:

  • Free and Compulsory Education: The government (state) has the responsibility to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six and fourteen.

  • Elementary Education: The specific level of education mandated is elementary education, which is the foundation for further learning.

  • Manner of Implementation: The article allows the state to determine the way this free and compulsory education is provided, through legislation.

  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act came into effect in 2010.

  • This act spells out the specifics of how the Right to Education as defined in Article 21A is implemented. 

Here are some key points of the RTE Act:

  • Free Education: Schools cannot charge any fees that would prevent a child from attending and completing elementary education. 

  • This applies to government and government-aided schools.

  • Quality Education: The act ensures children receive elementary education of a satisfactory and equitable quality.

  • Formal Schooling: The education must be provided in a formal school setting that meets certain essential norms and standards.

  • The Right to Education is a significant step towards ensuring equal opportunities for all children in India.

How Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa EducationAct, 2004 becomes a violation of secularism

  • Terming the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004 unconstitutional.

  • The Allahabad High Court on Friday said it was found to be a violation of secularism.

  • The court said it was not possible to segregate and save any portion of the Act that would be of any relevance.

  •  It maintained that the State has no power to create a board for religious education or

establish a board for school education only for a particular religion and philosophy associated with it.

  • A Bench of Justices Vivek Chaudhary and Subhash Vidyarthi — while dealing with a writ petition filed by Anshuman Singh Rathore that challenged the legality of the Board.

  •  Said it was the duty of the State to provide education, which is secular in nature, more particularly for minors, i.e., children up to the age of 18.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Secularism in India UPSC NOTE
Secularism in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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