Day 31 – Q 3. What is your interpretation of secularism when it comes to educational institutions. Substantiate your views. (15 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • March 3, 2022
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. What is your interpretation of secularism when it comes to educational institutions. Substantiate your views.

जब शिक्षण संस्थानों की बात आती है तो धर्मनिरपेक्षता की आपकी क्या व्याख्या है। अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।


Candidates need to write about their interpretation of secularism when it comes to educational institutions and provide evidence for it.


Secularism has been a much used (and abused) term in India’s popular, particularly political, lexicon for the last seventy years. It has meant “all things to all people,” making it difficult for common people as well as political commentators to arrive at a precise definition/meaning of it. 

Interpretation of secularism when it comes to educational institutions:

The Collins dictionary defines secularism as a system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs. When it comes to educational institutions, secularism can be interpreted from the following:

  • The Indian state may engage with religion negatively to oppose religious tyranny. It may also choose a positive mode of engagement. Thus, the Indian constitution grants all religious minorities, the rights to establish and maintain their own educational institutions, which may receive assistance from the state. 
  • Article 28 which authorizes educational institutions maintained by different religious groups to impart religious instruction. 
  • Article 29 and Article 30 that guarantee certain cultural and educational rights to the minorities. Article 29 states that there shall be no discrimination among citizens on the ground of religion, race, caste, language, or any of them.
  • Article 30 that states that all religious or linguistic minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  • One way of reducing religious discrimination is to work together for “mutual enlightenment “. Education is the only way of helping change the mind set of people. Hence secularism should ensure education is used in the similar manner to mutually enlighten. 

However, there are several issues that highlight secularism in terms if educational institutions in a negative way:

  • Schools, colleges, and universities have failed to inculcate the concept of secularism in the minds of the young educated people, the thirst for knowledge and truth and a mutual feeling of respect.
  • The defective faulty and ill-functional educational institutions which have made believe to be a part of groups and communities, have drastically failed to cultivate critical thinking and a universal humanitarian approach among the young people.


In education, everyone should seek the best way to live together. Schools, colleges, and universities should promote value-education and a humanitarian approach to make the younger students understand and religious traditions of each and every religion in the country. The State should grant assurance to every individual irrespective of their religious barriers that he has the right to freely profess, practise, and propagate his religion and freedom of conscience as per the law of the land

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