Yoga education not fundamental right, can’t make it compulsory in schools: SC

Yoga education not fundamental right, can't make it compulsory in schools: SC 1
The Supreme Court dismissed two pleas seeking direction to make yoga compulsory in schools for students from classes 1 to 8 (Representational Image. Courtesy: REUTERS/Amit Dave)

While hearing a plea seeking to make yoga a compulsory subject for school students, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said yoga cannot be imposed on anyone.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur said it can’t decide what is to be taught in schools and that the government can take a decision on the issue.

The court dismissed pleas seeking direction to make yoga compulsory in schools for students from classes 1 to 8.

The court order came on two PILs filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a lawyer, and Delhi BJP spokesperson and advocate J.C. Seth seeking introduction of yoga in schools and making mandatory yoga classes for school students across the country.

Upadhyay sought direction to the Human Resource Development Ministry, the National Council of Educational Research and Training, the National Council for Teacher Education and the Central Board of Secondary Education to “provide standard textbooks on yoga and health education for students of Class 1 to 8”.

The SC subsequently sought a response from the Centre on making yoga compulsory in school under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

In response, the Centre reportedly informed the SC that, “RTE Act does not specifically mention about the curriculum of yoga. As such, it cannot be concluded that yoga education has become an enforceable fundamental right.”

“Yoga is an integral part of the curriculum of ‘Health and Physical Education’, which is a compulsory subject for Classes 1 to 10. To that extent, yoga has not been neglected in school education,” it added.

The Delhi High Court had earlier rejected the plea for the introduction of yoga as part of the syllabi and holding of compulsory yoga classes for all school students,



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