CBSE Opposes PIL seeking Common Curriculum in all schools across India


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has opposed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a practicing lawyer and BJP leader in the Delhi High Court, seeking a common curriculum in all schools across the country up to Class 12.  The board, in its reply, told the court that since education is a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, and the majority of schools are under the jurisdiction of the state governments, The respective state/Union and union territory governments are responsible for framing the syllabus and curriculum and conduct examinations for their schools. 

Advocating for the inclusion of mother tongue instruction in all levels of school, the board stated that the uniform board/syllabus used throughout India does not take into account the local context, culture, and language. A child can better relate to a course that is more closely related to his/her life outside of school. Since there is a core common aspect, it is also desirable to have a variety of curricula and other educational resources.

The petition filed by Mr. Upadhyay mentioned that the syllabus and curriculum for all entrance examinations are common for all, and the syllabus and curriculum of CBSE, ICSE and State boards are totally different. Thus, the students do not get equal opportunity in accordance with Articles 14-16 of the Constitution, which state that education is the most important fundamental right and the state cannot discriminate on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, class, or culture.

At present, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) developed by the NCERT sets the guidelines and are responsible for developing curriculum, syllabi, textbooks, and other supplementary materials for schools across the country. The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and State Education Boards either adopt NCERT’s model syllabi and textbooks or develop their own syllabi and textbooks based on NCF in line with the National Education Policy (NEP).