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Today’s Prelims Bits 30-05-2022|Daily coverage of UPSC Prelims Based Articles

Is Reservation a fundamental right?

  • There is no fundamental right to reservation or promotion under Article 16(4) or Article 16(4 A) of the Constitution, rather they are enabling provisions for providing reservation, if the circumstances so warrant (Mukesh Kumar and Another vs State of Uttarakhand & Ors. 2020).
  • Article 46 mandates that the state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections.

Relation between Mandal Case and Indra Sawhney Case

  • Reservation in employment which was otherwise confined to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes got extended to Other Backward Classes as well on the basis of the recommendations of the Second Backward Class Commission as constituted, headed by B.P. Mandal.
  • The recommendation of Mandal Commission (1980) to provide 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes in central services and public sector undertakings, over and above the existing 22.5% reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, was sought to be implemented by the V.P. Singh Government in 1990 and the same was assailed in the Supreme Court resulting in the historic Indra Sawhney Judgment (1992).
  • In the judgment, a nine-judge bench presided by Chief Justice M.H. Kania upheld the constitutionality of the 27% reservation but put a ceiling of 50% unless exceptional circumstances warranting the breach, so that the constitutionally guaranteed right to equality under Article 14 would remain secured.
  • The Court dwelled on the interrelationship between Articles 16(1) and 16(4) and declared that Article 16(4) is not an exception to article 16(1), rather an illustration of classification implicit in article 16(1).
  • While Article 16(1) is a fundamental right, Article 16(4) is an enabling provision. Further, the Court directed the exclusion of creamy layer by way of horizontal division of every other backward class into creamy layer and non-creamy layer.

PM CARES for Children Scheme

  • PM CARES for Children Scheme was launched by the Prime Minister on 29 May 2021 to support children who have lost both the parents or legal guardian or adoptive parents or surviving parent to Covid-19 pandemic,  during the period from 11 March 2020 to 28 February 2022.
  • The objective of the Scheme is to ensure comprehensive care and protection of children in a sustained manner by providing them boarding and lodging, empowering them through education and scholarships, equipping them for self-sufficient existence with financial support of Rs. 10 lakh on attaining 23 years of age and ensuring their wellbeing through health insurance.

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019

  • The 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), other Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes for government jobs and admission in educational institutions is currently under challenge before the Supreme Court which has referred the same to a constitution bench.
  • The adjudication awaited in this regard may also turn to be a critical milestone in the jurisprudence of reservation as traditional understanding of backwardness is broadened to specifically include economic backwardness without social backwardness as is traditionally seen.

NCTE

NCTE Background

  • The National Council for Teacher Education, in its previous status since 1973, was an advisory body for the Central and State Governments on all matters pertaining to teacher education, with its Secretariat in the Department of Teacher Education of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
  • Despite its commendable work in the academic fields, it could not perform essential regulatory functions, to ensure maintenance of standards in teacher education and preventing proliferation of substandard teacher education institutions.

About Current NCTE

  • The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 and the Programme of Action thereunder, envisaged a National Council for Teacher Education with statutory status and necessary resources as a first step for overhauling the system of teacher education.
  • The National Council for Teacher Education as a statutory body came into existence in pursuance of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 (No. 73 of 1993) on the 17th August,1995.

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