What Are The 4 Fundamental Laws Of India Every Student Should Know About?

What Are The 4 Fundamental Laws Of India Every Student Should Know About?

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Fundamental Laws Of Indian Students

Most of us are familiar with our duties and rights as citizens of India, but how many of us are aware of the fundamental rights specifically pertaining to Indian students? The term “student” is not explicitly defined in Indian law, which makes it challenging for students to exercise their rights appropriately, as they have access to all the legal rights granted to Indian citizens.

It is important for every student, especially college students, to be aware of their legal rights. There are four fundamental laws in the Indian constitution that every student should know about, even though there may not be any unique rights or provisions specifically for students in India.

1. Right to Equality – Article 14

One of the most significant fundamental laws guaranteed by the Indian Constitution is the right to equality (Article 14). This right ensures that everyone is treated equally, regardless of their religion, gender, caste, ethnicity, or place of birth. It prohibits discrimination by the State in terms of employment based on factors like caste or religion and ensures equal job opportunities within the government.

Titles and untouchability are prohibited under this right.

Why is it crucial for Indian students?

Every candidate who appears for an entrance exam should be treated equally and given a fair chance in the admissions process. No student should face discrimination based on their gender, caste, creed, religion, or personal beliefs. The Supreme Court has laid down guidelines that educational institutions must follow during the admissions process. If the rights to equality and non-discrimination are violated, it is only fair and reasonable to provide appropriate relief to the affected candidate in such cases.

2. Right to Education – Article 21A

On August 4, 2009, the Indian Parliament passed the Right to Education Act (RTE). In accordance with Article 21A of the Indian Constitution, this law highlights the importance of free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to 14 in India.

Why is it crucial for Indian students?

  • As per this regulation, all private schools are required to reserve at least 25% of their seats for students who will receive financial support from the state through a public-private partnership scheme. 
  • The Act also prohibits the operation of unrecognized schools, eliminates contributions or capitation fees, and disallows interviews of parents or children for admission.
  • The Act also ensures that no student is held back, expelled, or forced to pass a board exam until they have completed their elementary education. 
  • Additionally, provisions are made for providing personalized instruction to school dropouts to bring them up to the level of their peers.

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3. Right to Information – Article 19(1)

Every Indian individual, including students, has the legal right to access information (RTI). In a Supreme Court ruling (S.C. Technology and National Resources Policy Vs. Union of India 2007(11)scale75), “Information” was recognized as a fundamental right. Therefore, withholding information by a public entity constitutes a violation of this fundamental right. Students can benefit from information in various ways, such as learning about cutoff scores for competitive tests and admissions to educational institutions. According to the RTI Act, every student is entitled to information about the functioning of public authorities, including universities and other educational institutions.

Why is it crucial for Indian students?

The fundamental right to information was emphasized in the case of CBSE and Anr v. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors. 2011 (8) SCC 497, where the right of students to request answer papers and verify marks was violated. The Supreme Court of India ruled in 2011 that answer sheets for any exam can be requested under the RTI Act, 2005. Candidates of exams such as JEE Main, NEET, and CBSE-UGC NET had to pay a high fee of around Rs 1000 to CBSE, the exam conducting body, for “answer sheets and mark verification.” However, after the court order, students can now request their answer sheets for a fee of Rs 10 for the application and Rs 2 per copy, with no cost for students falling below the Below-Poverty Line category.

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4. Right to Freedom of Expression and Speech – Article 19(1)(a)

This right is accessible only to Indian citizens; foreign nationals do not have this right. Freedom of speech, as guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a), includes the right to express one’s ideas and opinions on any subject through various mediums such as oral communication, writing, printing, pictures, films, etc. The Supreme Court has recognized that in a democratic constitution, the preservation of free speech and the right to express one’s beliefs is crucial for changes in the composition of legislatures and governments.

Why is it crucial for Indian students?

In 2015, Shreya Singhal’s petition opposing the Union of India (2015) (5) SCC 1 highlighted the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. After five years of legal proceedings, a significant decision was reached. This case was notable because it struck down Section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act of 2000, which restricted the online speech of citizens. The bench judges declared the provision illegal as it violated the right to free speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

Students, as the most powerful and crucial resource for a nation’s development, shape the future of the nation. Despite their significance, students may face exploitation and violations of their rights. Understanding fundamental laws empowers students to voice their concerns, stand up for themselves, and protect against exploitation. In line with supporting students in their educational journey, Varthana offers customized student loans. Whether you’re looking to advance your profession, start college, obtain a degree, or secure certifications, Varthana’s tailored financial assistance can accelerate your ambitions. Apply now to power your career with Varthana’s support and take a significant step towards achieving your educational and professional goals.

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