• Ms. Harriet Shini Nandihal Research Scholar, Department of Studies in Law, Karnatak University, Dharwad, Karnataka, India, 580001


Socio – Economic, Justice, Education, Child, Amendment, Constitution


Education is an essential and integral component for human development, and consequently it may be regarded as a basic right, beyond security and subsistence.  It helps to overcome exploitations and the traditional inequalities of caste, class and gender. It is a preparation for living in a better way in future with an ability to participate successfully in the modern economy and society.

The founding fathers of Indian Constitution had the vision of time bound policy of free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years. This was introduced as a Directive Principles of State Policy. One of the most important developments in educational sphere is insertion of Article 21-A to the Constitution by the 86th Amendment in 2002, which state, “ The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State may, be law, determine”. The Amendment replaced Article 45 by a new provision that says, “The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years”.  It introduced new fundamental duty (K) under Article 51-A, which enjoins, “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India who is parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and 14 years.”


Mahatma Gandhi defined ‘education’ in general and inclusive sense and he said, “By education, I mean an all round drawing out of the best in child and man-mind, body and spirit”. He gave the concept of 3 ‘H’s i.e..,

Head, Heart and Hand. Head for mental or cognitive evelopment; Heart for spiritual/emotional development; and Hand for Physical or Psycho-motor or skill development. All these aspects of human personality are essential to have holistic development of her/his personality.

Hon’ble Dr.Justice S.R.Nayak, cited from his inaugural Address at the National Conference on “Right to Education: Accessibility and Quality Dimension” organised by Karnataka State Law University, Hubballi, on 27th March, 2015, reported in (2015) III KSLUJ at 1.

Dr.Ratan Singh, “The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act in India: A Transmission to Required Education Zone, Indian Bar Review Vo l XXXVIII(3) 2011 at 89.

Dr.Shalu, “ Right to Education and the Constituttion (Eighty Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002”, Indian Bar Review Vol.XXXV(1 to 4) 2008 at 189.

“At the Childhood, the young kid’s minds are like a clean slate, on which you can write whatever you want, and it continues throughout his life. The young ones are the budding citizens of Bharat of tomorrow, and it is in the hand of the service providers to show them the righteous path, and in turn build a value based democratic nation or destroy the nation, through, what Mahatma Gandhi, said, an Adharmic Education Srinivas Gupta,”Right of the Child to Education in India”, Indian Bar Review, Vol.29(2)2002 at 75-76

Justice M.Rama Jois, “Be Immortal”, Lawyers Update, January 2015 at 7.

Jai S.Singh, “Expanding Horizons of Human Right to Education: Perspective on Indian and International Vision”, Journal of Indian Law Institute, Vol 52:1, 2010 at 34.

Supra note 3 at 30.

Nani.A.Palkhivala, “Purpose of Education,” , Lawyers Update, April 2013 at 15.

P.L.Mehta and Rakhi Poonga, Free and Compulsory Education, 1997, Deep and Deep Publication, Delhi at 1.

Shiv Sahai Singh, Human Right Education and the Constitution, Human Right Education, Law and Society, Hyderabad, NALSAR University, 2004.

Supra note 3 at 94.

V.N. Shukla’s, Constitution of India , 12th edn., 2015, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, at S-46.

Dr. B.R.Sharma, Socio-Economic Justice under Indian Constitution, 1984, Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi, at 20.

Niranajanaradhya.V.P., “The Right to Education, Constitution and the Common School System in India”,

Supra note 18 at 64.

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar had used appropriate words at the time of the birth of our Constitution to put forth the goal of building a new India on the ideals and goals embodied in the Constitution – created by her own people and representing the masses, adopted to secure the ideals of social justice, equality and equity. Ibid at 57.

Glanville Austin, Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of Nation, 1966, at 50.

The purpose of Rule of Law is (a) to protect the Fundamental Rights of the individual and (b) to establish social justice, so that an individual citizen can attain his legitimate aspirations and dignity of man may be assured. Cited from, P.C.Pati, “Rule of Law and Social Change: Indian Experience”, Indian Bar Review, Vol.19 (3and 4), 1992 at 32.

AIR 1992 SC, 1858.

See also Brown v. Board of Education, 1953, 98Law Ed., US, 873, Earl Warren, C.J, U.S. Supreme Court explained the Significance of Education in these following words; “It is very foundation of good citizenship.

Today, it is principle instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training and in helping him to adjust normally to environment. Citizen are the future of our nation. The quality of education will determine the quality of education”.

AIR 1993 SC 2178, See also, Francis C. Mullin v. Administrator,Union Territory of Delhi, AIR 1981 SC 746;

University of Delhi v.Shri Anand Vardhan Chandal, AIR 1998(5).

Also refer to Articles 41, 45 and 46 of the Constitution of India. They speak about the right to education. See also, Law Commission of India’s 165th Report on Free and Compulsory Education for Children, at 1-10.

Article 21-A, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may by law, determine. The Supreme Court in Avinash Mehrotara v. union of India, (2009) 6 SCC 398, observed that implicit in Article 21-A is a reciprocal agreement between the State and family, which places burden on all participants of civil society. Unlike other fundamental rights, the right to education places burden not only on the State but also on parent/guardian. Chanakya more than 2300 years back had said: “ That mother and the father are enemies, who do not give education to their children”.

Article 45, “ The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years”.

Article 51-A(K) states as follows, “who is a parent or guardian of a child is under a duty to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years”.

The Tribune, April 1, 2010, at1.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Ms. Harriet Shini Nandihal. (2018). SOCIO –ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION. International Education and Research Journal (IERJ), 4(8). Retrieved from