Citizenship and the 'Right to Education': Perspectives from the Indian Context.


The progress of the proposed 93rd Constitutional Amendment, which makes elementary education a fundamental right in India, provides an interesting starting point for exploring the challenges of achieving 'rights' in education, in the context of a history of poor provision, and entrenched forms of social and economic exclusion. How can rights to and responsibilities in education be framed and structured to ensure full and meaningful participation in education? In this article, some key issues relating to the challenge of rights are explored, in particular locating this policy development within the context of the rise of private schooling, pre-existing policy approaches and obligations, and the continuing dominance of human capital theory in framing educational discourse in development. In particular, the importance of constructing meaningful spaces for citizen participation in education systems is emphasised in the face of challenges posed by diversity and social exclusion for achieving universal education.


Subrahmanian, R. Citizenship and the ‘right to education’: Perspectives from the Indian context. IDS Bulletin (2002) 33 (2) 1-10. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1759-5436.2002.tb00024.x]

Citizenship and the ‘Right to Education’: Perspectives from the Indian Context.

Published 1 January 2002