The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre and city government’s stand on a plea seeking implementation of a uniform education system, which would entail having a common syllabus and curriculum in the mother tongue for students up to class 12. A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi also sought a response from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) while issuing notice on the petition by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhayay. “The counter-affidavit should reflect the policy that the respondent has adopted and proposes to adopt in light of the decision of the Supreme Court (on the common syllabus),” said the bench, also comprising Justice Navin Chawla. The petitioner has claimed that different syllabi and curricula by CBSE, ISCE, and state boards are contrary to Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, and 21A of the Constitution and that Right to Education implies the Right to Equal Education. “Syllabus & curriculum is common for all entrance examinations viz. JEE, BITSAT, NEET, MAT, NET, NDA, CU-CET, CLAT, AILET, SET, KVPY, NEST, PO, SCRA, NIFT, AIEED, NATA, CEPT, etc. But syllabus and curriculum of CBSE, ICSE, and State Board are different.
Thus, students don’t get equal opportunity in the spirit of Articles 14-16,” the petition has said. The plea submitted that a common syllabus and curriculum in the mother tongue will not only achieve the code of a common culture, remove disparity and discriminatory values but also enhance virtues and improve quality of life, elevate thoughts that advance the constitutional goal of an equal society. The petitioner has, however, alleged, that “School mafias don’t want ‘One Nation-One Education Board’, coaching mafias don’t want ‘One Nation-One Syllabus’ and book mafias don’t want NCERT books in all schools”. Common syllabus and curriculum are essential for all as the rights of children should not be restricted to only free and compulsory education, but must be extended to equal and quality education without discrimination on social-economic background, the petitioner has said. The matter would be heard next on August 30.