Human Rights and Public Goods: Education as a Fundamental Right in India
This chapter examines some of the main issues that come up in the context of efforts to bring the discourses of human rights and development closer together. It concentrates on the right to education, and in particular on an unusually interesting and instructive case study of India. The Indian experience with the right to education demonstrates both the central issues that arise in association with resource constraints and the role played by key actors in relation to economic and social human rights, including civil society, the judiciary, and the legislature. It also addresses the practical effects of entrenching education as a legally enforceable right. The main factors of the Indian case study is the formal constitutional recognition of the right set out in the 1949 Constitution, the role of civil society in insisting that substance be given to that commitment, the contribution of sustained analytical critiques of the state of education, and the political salience of these demands.
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