Centre to place stand in Delhi HC on mandatory ‘Health & Yoga Science’ in school

A petition in the Delhi high court sought to make ‘Health and Yoga Science’ a mandatory part of the curriculum up to class VIII for the overall development of the children.
A Delhi high court bench said that it is a policy matter which the government should look into. (Representational Image)
A Delhi high court bench said that it is a policy matter which the government should look into. (Representational Image)
Updated on May 19, 2022 02:02 AM IST
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The union government on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that it will place its stand on record on a petition seeking to make ‘Health and Yoga Science’ a mandatory part of the curriculum up to class VIII for the overall development of the children.

While refusing to issue notice, a bench of acting chief justice Vipin Sanghi and justice Sachin Datta made it clear that it cannot evolve a policy and thrust it on the government. The court said that no individual can demand what he thinks is correct to be implemented.

The bench said it is a policy matter which the government should look into instead of waiting for court orders. “You do it. Why wait for our orders? We are repeatedly reminded that these are policy matters. Why this hesitation? Do it on your own if it is important. If you think what Mr. Upadhyay (petitioner) says has merits, consider it. We will not enter into policy matters. We don’t want to take even one step in a direction we cannot pursue. We cannot evolve a policy and thrust it on the government,” the bench said on the petition filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

Additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma said he will take instructions in the matter and the court listed the plea for further hearing on November 11.

The petitioner sought a declaration that the Right to Education, guaranteed under Article 21A implies the ‘Right to Holistic Integrated Equal Quality Education’.

The plea also sought a direction to the authorities to make ‘Health and Yoga Science’ a mandatory part of the curriculum up to the VIII standard for the overall development of the children as well as enhancing their knowledge, potentiality, and talent; and development of their physical and mental abilities to the fullest extent in the spirit of provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

During the hearing, the bench asked how it can issue any such direction and said the petitioner was no one to dictate to the government and that there was no question of this court issuing a direction to this government on this. “You are aware there are practices like yoga. You have practices in China and Japan. So why should there be only yoga?” the bench said.

The petitioner said Yoga is a part of the National Curriculum Framework of 2005 and it still exists and until the next policy comes, it still goes on and all the schools under the RTE have to follow it. “This subject should be introduced in the context of all-around development of children. States like Haryana, Gujarat, and Rajasthan are doing it. Delhi is also doing it but not fully. It has not been institutionalised and I am seeking that it should be institutionalised,” he argued.

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Friday, July 01, 2022