Under Scrutiny : On BCCI’s Status :-
- Law Commission of India recommendation that the Board of Control for Cricket in India be brought under the purview of the Right to Information Act & declare it as a public body.
- After betting scandal in IPL, the view that BCCI is functioning in an opaque manner and not entirely in the game’s interest has gained ground. Therefore, it will have to make itself more transparent and accountable has been rising.
- While the BCCI is a private body that needs no financial help from the government, it is being increasingly recognised that it performs significant public functions.
Supreme Court Response :-
- A Five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in 2005 held by a 3-2 majority that the BCCI could not be termed an instrumentality of the ‘State’ under Article 12 of the Constitution.
- The Supreme Court’s intervention led to the constitution of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.
- After RM Lodha Committee recommended to treat BCCI as a public authority under RTI act. Supreme Court wanted the Law Commission to examine this suggestion.
RM Lodha Committee :-
- It recommended sweeping reforms in the board’s structure and the rules governing its administration which would impart greater transparency in its functioning and lead to an overhaul of cricket administration in the country.
- The Lodha Committee recommended that the board be treated as a public authority under the RTI Act.
Law Commission of India :-
- The Law Commission has taken into account “the monopolistic nature of the power exercised by BCCI, the de facto recognition afforded by the Government, the impact of the Board’s actions/decisions on the fundamental rights of the players, umpires and the citizenry in general” to argue that the BCCI’s functions are public in nature.
- The board gets no financial help directly, but the Commission has argued that the tax and duty exemptions and land concessions it got would amount to indirect financing by the state.
Conclusion :- A relevant question may be whether its autonomy would suffer as a result of being brought under the RTI. It is unlikely: other national federations are under the RTI and there is no reason to believe it would be any different for the BCCI. In fact, as a complement to the structural revamp, it may redound to the game’s interest.
Marginalised from School :-
- Implementation of RTE after 8 years of its enactment.
RTE Act 2009 :-
- The RTE aimed to provide a framework for private schools to supplement the efforts of the state to uplift disadvantaged sections of society through the means of education.
- Section 12(1)(c) of the Act mandates private unaided schools to reserve 25% of seats for children from economically weaker sections (EWS), in the age bracket of 6 to 14 years. This enabled economically marginalised communities to access high quality private schools, at the expense of the State.
- States have to notify per-child costs to pay the private schools, on behalf of the children admitted.
- Five States (Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Telangana) have not even issued notifications regarding admissions under the RTE which is the basic step mentioned in Section 12(1)(c) of the Act
- Out of 29 States and seven Union Territories, only 14 have notified their per-child costs.
- In 2017-18, 15 States which submitted their reimbursement claims to the Central government, only six were approved. Many of the claims of the States were not provided funds by the Centre, as they had not notified the per-child costs.
- In case of Number of children admitted, per State, under the Section 12(1)(c) in the last three years, 18 States have claimed that the question is not applicable to them, without giving any reason for this response. This could mean that in 18 States, poor children are not even benefiting under this Act.
According to Indus Action organisation
- The absence of a streamlined disbursement framework both at the Central and State levels is one of the biggest reasons that reimbursements are not processed.
- If the States are not provided sufficient funds, private schools would be forced to bear the costs of the children & There are several instances of schools refusing to admit children under the RTE provision, citing non-payment of dues by State governments.
Data regarding Number of Children admitted under Section 12(1)(c) :-
- The number of children studying under this provision increased by 6,12,053 from 2014-2015 to 2015-16, but by 5,02,880 from 2015-16 to 2016-17.
- The State of the Nation 2015 report by IIM Ahmedabad, based on official data obtained from the District Information System for Education, puts the total number of seats under this provision as 1.6 crore over the next eight years. This means that 20 lakh seats should be available annually for EWS children in private schools under the Act. However, according to the answer of the Minister, only 5-6 lakh seats are being filled on an annual basis.
Constitutional Provisions :-
- The Preamble to the Constitution states that the democratic Republic of India shall secure social, economic and political justice. Education is undoubtedly the most important element in the movement to secure this end.
- Although the Directive Principles of State Policy mandate the state to provide children the right to access education.
- The 86th constitutional amendment and the RTE dictate its implementation.
Conclusion :- As the malaise regarding the non-implementation of the RTE is spread across the country, the Central government should immediately convene a meeting with all the State education ministers and review the implementation of the law. We need to act immediately to address the gaps in the implementation of the law.