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The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.

Article 21-A and the RTE Act came into effect on 1 April 2010. The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act.

The RTE Act provides for the:
(i)  Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school.
(ii)  It clarifies that ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education to every child in the six to fourteen age group. ‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
(iii)  It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
(iv)  It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate Governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education, and sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
(v)  It lays down the norms and standards relating inter alia to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours.
(vi)  It provides for rational deployment of teachers by ensuring that the specified pupil teacher ratio is maintained for each school, rather than just as an average for the State or District or Block, thus ensuring that there is no urban-rural imbalance in teacher postings. It also provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational work, other than decennial census, elections to local authority, state legislatures and parliament, and disaster relief.
(vii)  It provides for appointment of appropriately trained teachers, i.e. teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
(viii)  It prohibits (a) physical punishment and mental harassment; (b) screening procedures for admission of children; (c) capitation fee; (d) private tuition by teachers and (e) running of schools without recognition,
(ix)  It provides for development of curriculum in consonance with the values enshrined in the Constitution, and which would ensure the all-round development of the child, building on the child’s knowledge, potentiality and talent and making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety through a system of child friendly and child centred learning.

Related Links:

  • Article 21A of the Constitution – Constitution (Eighty – Sixth Amendment) Act , 2002 dated 13th December 2002. Click here
  • The Right of Children to Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009 dated 27th August 2009 Click here
  • Notification dated 16th Februrary ,2010 regarding enforcement of Constitution (Eighty-Sixth Amendment) Act , 2002 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act , 2009. Click here
  • Notification dated 31st March,2010 for appointment of NCTE as academic authority u/s 23 of the RTE Act and of NCERT as the academic authority u/s 29 of the RTE Act Click here
  • Model Rules under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act , 2009. Click here
  • RTE RULES
    • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules , 2010 dated 8th April,2010. (4,595 KB)
    • State RTE Notifications
      • State RTE Rules
      • Local Authority
      • Local Grievance Redressal Mechanism
      • State Advisory Council
      • Definition of Disadvantaged Group & Weaker Section
      • Constitution of School Management Committee (SMC)
      • Activity Mapping of functions at each level of Local Authority/ PRI’s
  • Development of framework of national curriculum u/s 7 of the RTE Act dated 31.05.2010. Click here
  • Corrigendum dated 9.06.2010 in respect of section 19(1) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act , 2009 Click here
  • Guidelines dated 22.6.2010 under Section 35(1) of the RTE Act regarding implementation of Section 25( 1 ) ie PTR Click here
  • Notification dated 8.7.2010 of Constitution of National Advisory Council ( NAC ) u/s 33(1) of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Minutes of the Meeting on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 held on 14th August, 2010 Click here
  • Notification dated 23.8.2010 of NCTE laying down the minimum qualification for a person to be eligible for appointment as a School teacher u/s 23 (1) of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 13th September 2010 u/s 35(1) regarding deployment of teachers for elections u/s 27 of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 8th November,2010 for Relaxation U/s 23 (2) of the RTE Act, 2009. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 23.11.2010 Regarding applicability of RTE Act on Minority Institutions. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 2311.2010 Regarding Procedure for School Admission Under RTE Act, Click here
  • Notification dated 19th January,2011 for including CTSA as speicified category school. Click here
  • Guideline dtd 2.2.2011 on implementation os section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 11.2.2011 for conducting Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) under RTE Act., Click here
  • Notification dated 23.3.2011 granting relaxtion to orissa under section of RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 1st June,2011 granting relaxtion t West Bengal & Bihar under section 23(2) of RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 15th july,2011 granting relaxation to manipur under section23(2) of RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dtd 15th July,2011 on section 2(d) and 2(e) of RTE Act of UT of Andaman and Nicobar Island. Click here
  • Guideline dated 25th July,2011 regarding free and Compulsory education in a neighbourhed school. Click here
  • Notification dated 29th July,2011 reg amendment in Notification of 23rd August 2010 on minimum Teacher Qualification. Click here
  • Notification dated 26th August,2011 granting relaxation to Assam and Chhatisgrah under section 23(2) of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 21st November,2011 granting relaxation to Madhya Pradesh under section23(2) of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Advisory dated 31st January,2012 on implemention of the Provisions of Sec. 29 of the Right of Children to Free and compulsory education (RTE) Act, 2009 Click here
  • Sectoin -Wise Rationale/Clarification dated 31st January ,2012of the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 Click here
  • Advisory dated 14.2.2012 on implementation of section 31 and 32 of RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 18.5.2012 granting relaxation to State Government of Odisha in Teacher Qualification under Section 23(2) of the RTE Act . Click here
  • Notification dated 18th June,2012 granting relxation to Meghalaya and Tripura under section23(2) of the RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 20th June,2012 on the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act,2012. Click here
  • Notification dated 19.7.2012 of Section 2(d) and 2(e) of the RTE Act in r/o the UT of Daman & Diu. Click here
  • Notification dtd 25/7/12 regarding enforcement of the Right of children to free & compulsory Education(Amendment) Act,2012 from 1.8.2012 Click here
  • Notification dated 10.9.2012 Granting relaxation to the state of Uttar Pradesh section 23 of the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Click here
  • Notification dated 28th September,2012 granting relaxation to the state of Nagaland under section 23(2) of RTE Act in respect of relaxation of minimum qualification for appointment as teachers. Click here
  • Guidelines dated 13.7.2012 issued under section 35(1) of the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education(RTE) Act 2009 in respect of Residential schools. Click here
  • Notification dated 17th october,2012 granting relaxation to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh under section 23(2) of the RTE Act Click here
  • Guideline dated 26th October 2012 on clause(c) section 8&9 of RTE Act on prevention of discrimination in school in respect of children belonging to weaker section and disadvantage. Click here
  • Notification Dated 26th November, 2012 Regarding Re-Constitute the National Advisory Council. Click here
  • Guideline dated 26th October,2012 on Requirement of Playground specified in schedule to RTE Act. Click here
  • Notification dated 26th August, 2013 on section 2(d) & 2(e) of the RTE Act in respect of UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.PDF Click here
  • Advisory dated 26th March,2014 for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools under Section 35 (1) of the RTE Act, 2009 Click here
  • Notification of State Advisory Council for the Union Territories, having no legislature, under RTE Act, 2009 Click here
  • Constitution of SCPCR/REPA Click here
  • RTE Anthem(VIDEO) Click here

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