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Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act 2004


The Allahabad High Court (HC) has struck down the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004, as unconstitutional.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004

Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004

Purpose and Objectives

  • The Act was introduced to regulate and oversee the operations of madrasas (Islamic educational institutions) within Uttar Pradesh.
  • It established a structured framework for the establishment, recognition, curriculum, and administration of these madrasas across the state.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education was set up under this Act to supervise and monitor the activities of madrasas in Uttar Pradesh.
Concerns and Criticisms Regarding the Act

Constitutional Concerns

  • The Allahabad High Court (HC) has declared the Act unconstitutional, asserting that it promotes education based on religious segregation.
  • Such a provision contradicts the secular principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution and fundamental rights.

Quality of Education

  • Criticisms were raised about the Act’s failure to guarantee compulsory education up to the age of 14 years, as stipulated by Article 21 A of the Constitution.
  • Madrasas being excluded from the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 raised concerns about potentially depriving students of universal and quality school education.

Curriculum Focus

  • Examination of the madrasa syllabi revealed a heavy emphasis on Islamic studies, with modern subjects receiving limited attention.
  • Students were obligated to study Islamic doctrines to progress, whereas modern subjects were either optional or offered minimally.

Compatibility with Higher Education Standards

  • The Act was found to be in conflict with Section 22 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, raising doubts about its alignment with higher education standards.

Court’s Verdict and Recommendations

  • The Allahabad HC declared the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004 unconstitutional due to its violations of secular principles and fundamental rights.
  • The court directed the state government to accommodate madrasa students in recognized regular schools and expressed concerns about the limited focus on Islamic studies in the curriculum.
  • This ruling underscored potential negative impacts on students’ access to quality education and spurred legal discussions about constitutional infringements.

-Source: Indian Express

May 2024