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CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTSAn Omnibus Comprising Constitutional Questions in India and Citizens' Rights, Judges and State Accountability$
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A. G. Noorani

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.001.0001

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States and Education 1

States and Education 1

(p.354) 55 States and Education1

A.G. Noorani

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the doctoring of textbooks by the state governments in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, and whether special powers are needed by the centre to prevent such cases. The constitutional position is hardly in doubt. After the 42nd Amendment, education ceased to be a matter for the states exclusively. Education is a matter on which the exclusive powers are vested in the centre relating to matters mentioned in entries 63 to 66 of the union list. The union therefore has an overriding power. Further, the Supreme Court ruled in 1962 that the power to legislate on education includes within its purview 'the power to legislate in respect of medium of education' as well as 'the power to prescribe the syllabi and courses of study'. It corrected a grave error perpetrated by the framers of the constitution. The Sarkaria commission on centre-state relations pointed out that the 42nd Amendment only gave effect to the recommendation of the Sapru committee that education be made a concurrent subject. The centre has ample power in both respects: opposing textbooks that distort history and spread communal hate and ensuring full respect for the right of parents to educate their children in the mother-tongue.

Keywords:   education, 42nd Amendment, states, Union list, Sarkaria commission, textbooks, Constitution, mother tongue

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