One Nation, One Syllabus was a plea for common syllabus and school board for all the children aged 6-14 years. The petition demanding this pattern was filed in the Supreme Court by Neera Upadhya, wife of BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhaya. The petitioner filed the complaint in order to advance the objective behind the Right to Education (RTE). A two-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, under Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, denied this plea citing the impossibility of the implementing the plan.
The petition was filed as a consequence of the unequal educational opportunities provided to students studying under different education boards. The multi-board systems of ICSE and CBSE were to be replaced by a single board in concurrence with Article 21A of the constitution. The article states the right to education as a fundamental right and, therefore, it is essential to provide equality in educational exposure to children belonging to varied social classes.
Due to the difference in syllabus and curriculum of the various boards, children face disparities in their educational experience leading to disparities in the development of human resources.
The petitioner sought the introduction of a new system that would readily substitute the existing system’s differing curriculum. It also sought a direction for the introduction of a common textbook with chapters on the Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles, and the Great Golden Goals as set out in the Preamble of the constitution. The plea wanted to make this textbook’s study compulsory for all the children aged 6-14 years across the nation.
Chief Justice Mishra denied the plea pointing out the liberty of the state and central boards in determining the curricula and content of their subjects. He also refuted the one nation, one syllabus claim pointing out the lack of feasibility of the idea. The apex court denied permission to withdraw the petition with liberty to seek appropriate remedy and proceeded to dismiss the same.