The Rajasthan Assembly has passed two Bills which seek to end the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic poll candidates– Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
What’s the Condition?
The following educational qualifications was made mandatory:
1.Candidates contesting for the post of Sarpanch – should have passed class 8
2.Candidates contesting Zila Parishad and panchayat Samiti elections – should have passed class 10.
- The court held that prescription of educational qualification was justifiable for better administration and did not violate the right to equality enshrined in the Constitution.
- Sarpanches awarded by President, Vice President were declared ineligible due to the provisions in the previous Act. The Act was against the basics of the Constitution. Society cannot be divided on the basis of education.
- Education criterion should first be introduced for contesting Assembly and parliamentary elections.
- This challenges the basic premise of a republican democracy as it took away the right of people to contest elections just because they were unable to meet certain social indicators, which in the first.
- Such a restriction disproportionately disenfranchises the more marginal sections of society comprising of women, dalits and poor. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the state to provide education to its citizens.