In a democratic society, every person has equal rights irrespective of their socio-economic posture. Similarly, every student should be provided with equal opportunities to enhance his capabilities. In fact, the Right to equality is an important right provided for in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Indian constitution. It is the principal foundation of all other rights and liberties. The government has formulated many laws and policies in this regard. It has also implemented many schemes for the children. Indian Government, at all levels, announces Welfare Schemes for a cross section of the society from time to time. These schemes are either Central or State specific or a joint collaboration between the Center and the States.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the concept assumes that society is stratified with a diverse range of roles, some of which are more desirable than others. The benefit of equality of opportunity is to bring fairness to the selection process for coveted roles
in corporations, associations, non-profits, universities, and elsewhere. Philosopher John
Rawls offered his variant of substantive equality of opportunity, and explained that it happens when individuals with the same “native talent and the same ambition” have the same prospects of success in competitions. Gordon Marshall offers a similar view with the words “positions are to be open to all under conditions in which persons of similar abilities have equal access to office.
An example of it is the Midday Meal Scheme, which is a school meal program of the government of India, conceived to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. It was also envisaged to stop hunger from keeping children away from schools and to improve enrolment. The program provides free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government aided, local body, Education Guarantee Scheme, and alternate innovative education centres, Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour. Serving 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools and Education Guarantee Scheme centres, it is the largest such program in the world.
With the advent of internet, the entire mechanism to study has become online which is also providing equal opportunities for students even from the down trodden societies. Online study material has replaced the traditional books and notes. There are numerous sites to which are providing equal opportunities for students with their NCERT textbook questions and answers in the form of online study material to students. www.zigya.com is one among such site that offers free online study material to the student, with the objectives of providing equal opportunities for students. This portal has the prime objectives of taking education to every student.
The ruling dispensation at the centre has launched various initiatives for providing equal opportunities not only to the students but also to every section of the society. The minorities, disabled and the women’s are the special focus of this government, for which scholarship are offered to pursue their studies. The “Beti Bacho and Beti Padhao” programme implemented in Haryana has dramatically raised the sex ratio in the state, thus providing equal opportunities to the fairer sex.