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  • The Rajasthan HC, while setting aside an administrative order of the State Government to convert Hindi medium schools into English medium, examined whether the right to get an education in one’s mother tongue or in Hindi is a fundamental right or not.
  • In the instant case titled School Development Management Committee, Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School and ors. vs. State of Rajasthan and ors. The Director, Secondary Education in September, 2021 allowed the conversion of 345 Government Schools into Mahatma Gandhi Government Schools which are in the English medium. One of these schools was Shri Hari Singh Senior Secondary School, which has been teaching 600 students from all sects, which challenged the impugned order before the HC.
  • The Court observed that the right to get an education in any particular language is a part and parcel of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. To support this view, the Court also relied upon the decisions of the Hon’ble SC in the case of State of Karnataka vs. Associated Management of English Medium Primary and Secondary Schools and ors. (2014)SCC where the Court has held that the right to get an education in one’s own mother tongue or in any particular medium is guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
  • However, the Court has also said that the right guaranteed under the aforementioned Article is also subject to the reasonable restrictions mentioned in Article 19(2). Therefore, the State can prescribe a medium of imparting education while considering the overall well-being of the child as well as the socio-economic factors.
  • Thus, the Court observed that the impugned decision was purely administrative, and it also could not be said to be a reasonable restriction under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
  • While referring to the Right to Education Act, the Court also mentioned that the right to get elementary education in one’s mother tongue is also a statutory right guaranteed by Section 29(2)(f) of the Act. It was also observed that education falls under Concurrent List of the Constitution and since Right to Education is a central Act, any law made by the legislature of the State, if it has not received the assent of the President, would be repugnant by virtue of Article 254 of the Constitution.
  • Thus, the Hon’ble HC quashed the impugned order and upheld the fundamental right of the child to get an education in his/her mother tongue.
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