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Updated: August 10, 2011 12:53 IST

Supreme Court refuses to stay judgment on uniform syllabus

J. Venkatesan
Comment (19)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Government school students with the
The Hindu
Government school students with the "Samacheer Kalvi" textbooks. Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Tamil Nadu government to distribute the books before August 2. File photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday, refusing to stay at this stage the Madras High Court judgment striking down as unconstitutional an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act, extended the time limit for distribution of textbooks till August 2.

The High Court by its July 18 judgment had directed the State to forthwith distribute the textbooks printed under the Uniform System of School Education to enable teachers to commence classes and said “such distribution shall be completed on or before July 22.”

A three-judge Bench of Justice J.M. Panchal, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B.S. Chauhan, after hearing counsel for the parties said that in the interest of 1.23 crore students, it would hear the batch of appeals from July 26 and decide the matter finally. Justice Panchal told counsel, “We are not staying the impugned judgment. We are issuing notice. You complete your pleadings before July 26.”

A battery of lawyers led by senior counsel P.P. Rao, Mukul Rohatgi, Advocate General S. Navaneethakrishnan, Additional Advocate General in Supreme Court Guru Krishna Kumar, appeared for the State. Senior counsel Rohinton Nariman, Rajeev Dhavan and Aryama Sundaram appeared on behalf of matriculation schools in support of the government. Senior counsel A. K. Ganguly, M.N. Krishnamani, R. Viduthalai and Prashant Bhushan, appeared on behalf of students and parents.

When Mr. P.P. Rao submitted that “the textbooks are of sub-standard nature and prepared in haste and hurry and the High Court directions could not be implemented this year,” Justice Verma asked counsel “what would happen to Rs. 200 crore spent on these books already printed?”

Mr. Rao said, “We [State] are for implementing the Uniform System of School Education. We want to review the syllabus and textbooks and implement it from next year. The syllabus does not conform to the principles of National Curriculum Framework 2005. It would be appropriate and effective if introduction is done in a phased manner. The Samacheer Kalvi textbooks cannot be used for the academic year 2011-2012 as they require a lot of alterations, modifications and changes in order to provide good quality education to all the children in the State.”

When Mr. Rao submitted that the expert committee appointed pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court had faulted the uniform syllabus, Justice Panchal pointed out that the views of the committee “do not reflect the views of the individual members of the committee.”

Mr. Nariman pointed out that there would be practical difficulties in implementing the High Court direction to supply students an additional booklet after three months.

Mr. Ganguly, however, said the uniform system was introduced after four years of extensive study and research. The Cabinet took a decision not to implement the system within one day of assuming office. Certain portions in the objectionable textbooks were deleted and over nine crore textbooks were printed at a cost of Rs. 200 crore and kept ready for distribution.

When the people insist on repeating the mistakes of the past by re-electing the same leaders who were rejected for unacceptable behavior in the past, why do we se politicians to not repeat the same mistakes as well? Jayalalitha has never once acknowledged let alone apologize for her mistakes. The open secret in TN politics is people vote for the dravidian parties alternatively ... so all you have to do as a politician is to wait out the bad times .. relax and enjoy the money made during the good times. Soon, more colorful characters like Vijay, Vijayakanth, Sarath Kumar will be added to the mix with the current generation of politicians retiring ... Only when the people start voting for a diverse range of politicians with consideration to educational and administrative qualifications and not vote for a political party or movie personality enmasse will the equation and fate of the state will change.

from:  Srini Venkat
Posted on: Jul 26, 2011 at 23:36 IST

Politicians get away from education system of the country. Let the entire nation follow one syllabus as prescribed by NCERT.

from:  kiran
Posted on: Jul 26, 2011 at 21:23 IST

The Madras High Court has struck down the amendment enacted by the Jaya government saying that it was enacted in haste and with ulterior motive. The Supreme Court guides Jaya to reinforce her decision (what else did the SC expect?) without haste by appointing a committee and getting a report(!) permitting and abetting wasting of three or more weeks. Why the SC chose not to give a simple yes/no verdict on the MHC judgement? But the MHC still stands by its judgement.It will be interesting to hear the SC verdict now .

from:  Kailash
Posted on: Jul 24, 2011 at 08:32 IST

If Karunanidhi was insincere in his commitment to equitable education for the children of the lowly what with his half-hearted measures at the fag-end of his infamous tenure , Jayalalita is back with a bang with her penchant for elitism! as she continues to nurture her ambition to become PM one day as do her friend Modi she is very particular about carrying the burgeoning middle classes in Tamilnadu with her; she is not at all afraid of her constituency which will not let her down on issues of this nature as it matters little to them!

from:  A V Samikkannu
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 22:32 IST

Children should be given the choice of getting any type of education. Supreme Court of India, in my view, has not appreciated this fact. Infact, it is the right of the children. When even the present US President is appreciative of the education Indian children get, it is sad that we are not encouraging to tap the potential of our children by imposing 'Samacheer Kalvi'.

from:  vc sekar
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 17:49 IST

Kudos to the Apex Court for declining to stay judgment of High Court. It is high time the Government of Tamil Nadu and its CM shed their ego towards this education system and do the needful to distribute text books as directed by the Apex Court. The mental agony suffered by students, their parents and the teaching faculty could not be compensated in any manner, including the CM's relief fund. One is constrained, after observing the style of functioning of CM, to doubt whether 1991-96 will be repeated. If so, 1996 will also be repeated in 2016.

from:  Ghouse Mohammed
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 17:09 IST

Government should take this as very appreciable note..As VAIKO said this is the only good thing happend in recent years who were Governing Tamil Nadu... Kudos to the Court..Let the kids and parents be happy.

from:  Jaiganesh
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 16:57 IST

Hope Jayalalitha will take this judgement in good sprit and mend her function here after.

from:  V. Sivasankaran
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 16:47 IST

June and July are very important months in the academic calendar. The kids’ minds are fresh and excited and willing to take in more and teachers are also ready to teach. No one has the right to deprive them of this. All changes should be done in summer. Let us get on with the work.

from:  Nirmalaraja
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 16:11 IST

It is sad on the part of Tamil Nadu Government to play with the lives of children. In two months time quarterly examinations are going to be held. It is not the right time to go to Supreme Court for a reversal of the previous DMK Government's Samacheer Kalvi. All is good now as the Supreme Court has refused to stay the High Court order

from:  K. Preethi
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 15:54 IST

The most pertinent point to note in all this is the wisdom - to not to reduce the process of learning with a ceiling(like wealth)if we wish to take advantage of our demographic dividend to leapfrog on the development scale. To go along with China, shoulder to shoulder. Parochialism must be eschewed in the interest of the nation's growth and development. Real-politik is only one aspect of our development system as enshrined in our constitution. Politicians must be trained to look at the education in a holistic manner.

Education must enable to change the gear to creation of a new
knowledge from what has been acquired. This essence of schooling
must be projected by the intellectuals, educationists, the
press, the judiciary, the executive and the senior bureaucrats.

Only then, what we are talking about growth in national product
could be realized in the next decade and thereafter.

from:  R Santhanagopalan
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 15:24 IST

Everything needs review and systematic improvement. Bureacracy has no backbone and surrendered their conscienc. But the people and judiciary shall not fall prey to whims and fancy of a single person, however mighty he/she may be. Real democracy depends on them. Many kudos to SC.

from:  Ajaathasathru
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 14:24 IST

Two of the appointed members are Private school heads and they are already fighting against this since they will lose their private school business across Tamil Nadu ..Jaya is only killing this initive by stopping ...may be since she need to appear before Bangalore Special court on 27th July and wanted entire attention of people on this issue rather than her Bangalore court appearance.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 13:57 IST

All the states in India are having a Uniform Syllabus, this difference in syllabus was brought into picture by Former CM of Tamilnadu MGR. There should be only two syllabus - the uniform syllabus and the other one is CBSE. Present CM of Tamilnadu is repeating the same what she has done in her previous tenure.

from:  Chris
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 13:38 IST

A system cannot sustain without critic. That said, we should move on with it and strive towards incorporating improvements in a systematic fashion. Just because the books have been already printed and costs to the tune of 200 crores have been incurred, we shouldn't have to 'live' with it - I find this a silly argument.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 12:47 IST

State Govt should not take this as a personal defeat.It was wrong to oppose a common syllabus system on the whole. Instead it should think of ways to improvise the syllabus if it has really noble intentions.

from:  Rajagopal Venkatraman
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 12:27 IST

Kudos to the apex Court! a big round of applause!

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 10:14 IST

Justice prevails, very fair reading of the case by Highly Honorable Justices of SC, augurs well for best and fair verdict. every one should respect every steps of the Supreme Court, the most dignified and holy place as the eagerly waited judgement decides fate of millions of young students to get equitable education.

from:  Raghavan
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 07:30 IST

In the initial days it was thought that our present CM will not repeat the past. As the things go it is feared that she will be repeating her past. Let her think of improving the life of the poor and downtrodden.

from:  T R Subramanian
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 06:24 IST
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