Prakash Javadekar, the HRD Minister, has categorically ruled out the possibility of a common curriculum for CBSE, state boards, the National Institute of Open Schooling, and the Indian School Certificate Examination Board. Speculation was rife after the National Policy on Education (NPE) proposed a national framework curriculum with common core values. Clarifying the matter, Javadekar has stated that there is a need for diversity in curricula, given the local contexts, cultures, and languages found across the country.
The matter had come up for discussion in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour wherein Upendra Kushwaha, the minister of state for HRD, had stated that the NPE had put forth the proposal of a national framework of curriculum inclusive of common core values. These common core values included constitutional movements, the history of the freedom movement, and other content required to nurture a national identity. Kushwaha said that some of the states had agreed to this proposal.
The Opposing View
The new rule is in contradiction to a recent verdict passed by the Supreme Court which says that “a common syllabus and common curriculum is required to achieve the objectives of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, to provide free and compulsory education to every child of 6 to 14 years.” The ruling was issued by a Bench of Justices in a separate matter.
Dismissing a set of appeals filed by the Tamil Nadu government against a Madras High Court judgment on implementation of the Uniform System of School Education, the three-member Bench ruled that “Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution must be observed while reading Article 21-A and, when it comes to quality education, there must be no discrimination. Free and compulsory education should not be the only right a child should be limited to, but a quality education should be included with no discrimination based on their economic, social and cultural backgrounds.”