In a setback to the Jayalalithaa govt in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court has rejected its plea for scrapping the uniform education system brought in by the earlier DMK govt and directed its immediate implementation.
A three-judge bench of justices J M Panchal, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan on Tuesday dismissed the state’s plea that the Uniform System of School Education (Amendment) Act brought into force by the DMK government was sub-standard, lacked quality and was politically motivated.
The apex court also ordered that the act be implemented within 10 days.Immediately after assuming power, the Jayalalithaa government had moved an amendment to the act on the ground that it was sub-standard and the syllabus prescribed was essentially done to promote the political interest of the then DMK government.
The Madras High Court’s order had struck down the amendment moved by the Jayalalithaa government.
The Tamil Nadu government had defended its decision to defer the implementation of the Act on the ground that it suffered from serious deficiencies.
Senior counsel P P Rao, appearing for the state, had said that the curriculum introduced by the previous DMK government “lacked quality, standard and did not conform to the parameters fixed by the NCERT.”
The counsel had said that former VC of Bhartidasan University Prof Muthukarupan, on whose recommendations the Act was formulated, had complained that the syllabus lacked quality and did not fulfill the suggestion and guidelines prescribed by him. The state had challenged the high court’s order on the ground that it was “illegal and erroneous.”
The high court had also directed the state government to distribute the textbooks printed under the Uniform System of Education to enable teachers commence classes and to complete the exercise by 22nd July.
Tamil Nadu has over 1.2 crore students in four streams of school education — 45,000 state board schools, 11,000 matriculation schools, 25 oriental schools and 50 Anglo–Indian schools, all with separate syllabus, textbooks and schemes of examinations.
‘Samacheer Kalvi’ scheme, aimed at bringing about uniform education, was shelved by Jayalalithaa in one of her first acts after returning to power.