(1) No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.

 

(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.

 

(3) No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.

Debate Summary

Article 22, Draft Constitution of India, 1948

(1) No religious instruction shall be provided by the State in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.

(2) No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person, or if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent any community or denomination from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in an educational institution outside its working hours.

Draft Article 22 was discussed in the Constituent Assembly on 7th December 1948. It aimed to regulate and place restrictions on religious instruction in educational institutions funded by the State.

The debate on the Draft Article was comprehensive and contained multiple strands. One member pointed out the text of the Draft Article as it stood allowed non-state institutions to provide religious instruction. As this was not in-line with the underlying motivation behind the Draft Article – to not allow any state-funded institution to provide religious instruction – the Assembly acknowledged the flaw, and accepted an amendment to delete ‘by the state’.

It was proposed that subclause 3 be deleted as, it was inconsistent with clause 1, would facilitate conflict between denominations of the same religion, and was redundant in light of clause 2. This amendment too was accepted.

There was a discussion about the fate of fully state-funded institutions like Sanskrit College which provided instruction in religious texts that included the Vedas. Would these not be allowed to continue? It was clarified that there was a distinction between research and study of religion, and religious dogma. The Draft Article pertained to the former and not the later.

Finally, the Assembly adopted the Draft Article with some amendments.