UP Madrasa Act – Against Secular credentials

UP Madrasa Act – Against Secular credentials

News: Recently, the Allahabad High Court has struck down the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004 enacted by the state government.

Important observations made by HC:
 The Allahabad HC stated that the act found to violate principles of secularism.
 The court said it was not possible to segregate and save any portion of the Act which would be of any relevance and maintained.
 The state has no power to create a board for religious education or to establish board for school education only for a particular religion and philosophy associated with it.
 It was the duty of the state to provide education, which is secular in nature and it cannot discriminate and provide different types of education to children belonging to 
different religions.

Secularism and education in India
 Secularism is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
 The value of Secularism is enshrined particularly in Articles 14, 19, 22, and 25.
 Education, being a fundamental right under Article 21-A of the Constitution, holds immense significance in fostering a democratic society and promoting social cohesion.
 Secularism in education implies that the state must provide education that is free from religious bias or affiliation.
 It entails offering a curriculum that is inclusive of diverse perspectives, cultures, and beliefs, fostering a spirit of tolerance, pluralism, and respect for individual autonomy.

Consequences of denial of education to certain section
 Education, as a tool for empowerment and social transformation, must be accessible to all, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
 Denying certain groups access to quality education based on religious grounds not only perpetuates social inequality but also undermines the foundational principles of democracy and secularism.

Impact of ruling
 By considering the act as unconstitutional for its violation of secularism, the court reaffirmed the states obligation to provide education that transcends religious boundaries and caters to the holistic development of all students.

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