The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Education in India: Centralization vs. State Control

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Education

Revision Notes

Question : Critically analyze the arguments for and against centralization of education in India. How does centralization impact the uniformity and quality of education across the country?

The recent controversies surrounding national entrance exams like NEET have brought the debate on education control back into the spotlight. Here’s a deeper look at the issue:

Centralization vs. Decentralization:

  • Currently, education is in the Concurrent List, meaning both the central government and states can make policies.
  • Pre-independence (1935) and for a period after independence, education was in the State List, giving states more autonomy.

Arguments for Centralization:

  • Uniformity: Proponents argue for a national education policy to ensure consistent standards across the country.
  • Quality: Centralized control could help improve the overall quality of education by setting national benchmarks.
  • Coordination: Central government can play a role in coordinating efforts between states, promoting resource sharing and collaboration.

Arguments for Decentralization:

  • Diversity: A ‘one size fits all’ approach might not be suitable for India’s vast and diverse population. States have a better understanding of local needs and can tailor policies accordingly.
  • Financial Burden: States bear the majority of the financial burden (85% as per 2020-21 data) for education. Decentralization allows them more control over how these funds are spent.
  • Flexibility: States can experiment with innovative approaches and adapt curriculums to suit regional languages and cultures.

International Examples:

  • USA: Education is primarily controlled by individual states, with the federal government focusing on financial aid and ensuring equal access.
  • Canada: Education is completely managed by provinces.
  • Germany: Similar to Canada, each state (lander) has legislative power over education.
  • South Africa: A dual system exists, where national departments set broad policies while provinces implement them and address local issues.

The Way Forward:

There’s no easy answer. Centralization offers uniformity and potential for quality improvement, while decentralization allows for flexibility and caters to diverse needs.

A possible solution could be to move education back to the State List, granting states greater autonomy in policymaking. However, central institutions like UGC and NMC could continue to regulate higher education, ensuring minimum standards and quality across the board. This would allow states to tailor curriculums, testing procedures, and admissions processes to better suit their specific needs and populations.

Ultimately, the goal should be to create a system that provides high-quality education for all, regardless of location or background. Open discussions and data-driven decisions are crucial in finding the right balance between centralized control and state autonomy.




The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Supreme Court of India Recognizes Right to Be Free From Climate Change Impacts

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes


Supreme Court of India Recognizes Right to Be Free From Climate Change Impacts

Question: Discuss the significance of the Supreme Court of India’s landmark decision in the M.K. Ranjitsinh and Ors. vs Union of India & Ors. case (March 21, 2024) in recognizing the right to be free from climate change impacts. How does this decision relate to Articles 21 and 14 of the Indian Constitution?

Case: M.K. Ranjitsinh and Ors. vs Union of India & Ors. (March 21, 2024)

Landmark Decision: Recognized the right to be free from adverse effects of climate change, stemming from the right to life (Article 21) and right to equality (Article 14) of the Indian Constitution.


  • Potential for climate litigation: Empowers citizens to hold the government accountable for protecting this right.
  • Unresolved questions:
    • Overemphasis on large-scale clean energy vs. climate adaptation strategies.
    • Local environmental resilience needs further consideration.

The Debate:

  • Supreme Court judgement in M.K. Ranjitsinh case (March 21, 2024) recognized the right to be free from climate change impacts, based on the right to life and equality (Articles 21 & 14 of the Constitution).
  • Two main approaches to enforce this right:
    • Judicial Decisions (Court-based action): More cases filed claiming climate rights violations, leading to a patchwork of legal protections.
      • Slower progress and dependent on further policy actions.
      • Doesn’t provide a clear framework for future climate policy.
    • Climate Legislation:
      • Enact a new law specifically addressing climate change.
      • Advantages:
        • Sets a clear vision for tackling climate change across sectors and regions.
        • Creates necessary institutions and empowers them.
        • Establishes processes for climate governance.

Tailoring Climate Legislation to India:

  • Blindly copying other countries’ laws won’t work. The legislation needs to consider India’s specific context:
    • Transition to low-carbon energy.
    • Sustainable cities, buildings, and transportation.
    • Climate adaptation measures (heat action plans, resilient crops).
    • Protecting ecosystems like mangroves.
    • Ensuring social equity in implementing these measures.
    • Mainstreaming climate considerations into India’s development plans.

Enabling vs. Regulatory Law:

  • India needs a law that enables progress towards both low-carbon and climate-resilient development, considering its developing status and future infrastructure needs.
    • Regulatory Law: Focuses narrowly on limiting emissions.
    • Enabling Law: Guides development decisions across various sectors (urban, agriculture, water, energy) to promote low-carbon growth and climate resilience.

Federalism and Stakeholder Participation:

  • The law must work within India’s federal structure:
    • Many climate-related areas (urban policy, agriculture, water) fall under state or local government control.
    • The law should set a national framework while empowering states and local governments with information and finances.
  • Effective participation from businesses, civil society, and communities is crucial for successful climate action.


An enabling climate law with clear procedures for participation from all stakeholders can provide a powerful tool to address climate change in India.


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