The Supreme Court while dismissing the appeals filed by Uttar Pradesh Shiksha Mitra Association in a case relating to the appointment of 69000 assistant teachers in the state of UP observed that the Right to Education under Article 21 A has a broad scope and also includes that the teachers should be meritorious and the best of the lot. Thus, the scope of 21A is not narrowed down to providing free and compulsory education to the students of age bracket 6 to 14 years but rather its purview extends to also providing the best teachers which can play an intrinsic role in the life of the students and impart them with knowledge.
The division bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Mohan M. Shantanagoudar observed that the national council for teacher’s education has been specifically developed to recruit good teachers in schools. The council determines the qualifications required by the teachers at schools and the procedures of recruitment. Further, the fixation costs of ATRE 2019 was justified to be 65-60%. The bench said, “It needs no emphasis that the right to education guaranteed in terms of Article 21A of the Constitution would envisage quality education being imparted to the children which in turn, would signify that the teachers must be meritorious and the best of the lot."
The Court also noted that there need to be specified minimum marks obtained by the candidate in the national level exam to be recognized as an assistant teacher. One of the cases cited by the court in the judgment, Thincludes K. Manjusree vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (2008) 3 SCC 512.
The Court stressed the fact there was a distinction between the above-stated case and the present case as the earlier selection was made based on oral and written examination and no stress was placed on the interview. But now, the aggregate marks secured in the interview also marks equal importance. The Court lastly said that the basic purpose which should be most certainly met is that the quality of teachers should not be compromised and shall be the ‘best of the lot’.