Congress on Thursday welcomed the implementation of the Right to Education law as "historic", saying it will benefit over 22 crore children and give poor students an opportunity to get quality education.
"It is another feather in the cap of UPA government under the direction of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This is a historical legislation and it will benefit generations to come by giving them the right to education," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.
"The law will benefit nearly 22 crore students and the provision to reserve 25 seats for poor students by private and public schools will change the scene for children from poor families who were so far deprived of quality education due to low income of their parents," he added.
Ahmed said the implementation of the law is another pointer to the commitment of the UPA towards inclusive growth.
Nearly eight years after the Constitution was amended to make education a fundamental right, the government today implemented the law to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years.
The 86th Constitutional amendment making education a fundamental right was passed by Parliament in 2002. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, a law to enable the implementation of the fundamental right, was passed by
Parliament last year. Both the Constitutional amendment and the new law came into force from Thursday.
The new law makes it obligatory on part of the state governments and local bodies to ensure that every child gets education in a school in the neighbourhood.