IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st November, 2023 Polity

Copyright infringement not intended

Picture Courtesy: lawrato.com

Context: The Uttar Pradesh government informed the Supreme Court that the school teacher who encouraged students to slap a classmate based on his religious identity may be charged under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).


  • Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or beliefs.
  • In simpler terms, this section penalizes individuals who intentionally insult or attempt to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of a particular group of people.

Section 295A of IPC


●The main aim of this section is to maintain harmony and peace among different religious communities in India by preventing actions that could hurt religious sentiments.

Elements of the Offense

Intent: The person must have the intention to outrage the religious feelings of a community or a group.

Act: The act could be in the form of spoken or written words, signs, or visible representations.

Religious Sentiments: The act should be aimed at insulting the religious beliefs or sentiments of a particular group, leading to outrage or anger among them.

Scope of Offense

●This section applies to all religions and religious groups in India. It protects the religious feelings of all communities.


●If someone is found guilty under this section, they can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine, or with both.

Cognizable and Non-bailable

●Offences under this section are generally considered cognizable, which means the police can arrest the accused without a warrant. They are also non-bailable, meaning bail is not a matter of right and depends on the discretion of the court.


●There are certain exceptions to this section, such as acts done in good faith for the benefit of the public, or criticism of religious practices or beliefs as long as it is done in a respectful manner and without any intention to insult or outrage religious feelings.

Ethical values of teachers

  • Ethical values are crucial for teachers because they establish a foundation of trust and integrity within the educational system. It ensures that teachers respect the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of their students, creating an inclusive and nurturing learning environment.
  • Upholding ethical principles helps teachers make fair and unbiased decisions, fostering a sense of equality among students. It also safeguards students' well-being by promoting empathy, understanding, and confidentiality.
  • The ethical values guide teachers in shaping responsible, empathetic, and morally conscious individuals, contributing positively to society.

Key ethical values that teachers should uphold in the classroom


Student Individuality: Teachers should recognize and appreciate the unique qualities and capabilities of each student. They should acknowledge diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities.

Active Listening: Teachers must actively listen to their students, showing genuine interest in their thoughts and concerns. By doing so, they demonstrate respect for their students' voices.

Cultural Sensitivity: Being aware of cultural differences is crucial. Teachers should avoid stereotypes and biases, ensuring that all students are treated with equal respect and understanding.


Equal Opportunities: Teachers should provide all students with equal opportunities to participate, engage, and succeed in the classroom. This means avoiding discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or any other characteristic.

Transparent Evaluation: Grading and assessment criteria should be clear and consistent. Students should understand how their work is being evaluated, and feedback should be constructive and helpful for their improvement.


Honesty: Teachers must model honesty and academic integrity. They should discourage plagiarism and cheating while promoting original thinking and ethical research practices.

Professional Conduct: Teachers should adhere to professional conduct codes, both inside and outside the classroom. These include appropriate use of social media and refrain from engaging in behaviour that could compromise their professional standing.


Continuous Learning: Teachers should engage in continuous professional development, attending workshops, conferences, and training sessions to stay updated with the latest educational techniques and methodologies.

Effective Communication: Professional communication with students, parents, and colleagues is vital. Clear, respectful, and timely communication helps in building trust and a positive learning environment.


●Teachers must respect students' privacy and confidentiality. Personal information should be handled discreetly and only shared with relevant parties when necessary, following legal guidelines such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in the United States.


Understanding Challenges: Teachers should empathize with students' challenges, whether academic, social, or emotional. By understanding their struggles, teachers can provide appropriate support and encouragement.

Approachability: Teachers should be approachable and accessible to students. A welcoming nature encourages students to seek help when needed, fostering a positive teacher-student relationship.

Professional Boundaries

●Teachers should maintain a professional distance from their students. While it's natural to care for students' well-being, maintaining appropriate boundaries ensures a healthy learning environment.

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Inclusive Curriculum: Teachers should incorporate diverse perspectives into their teaching materials and lesson plans. This helps students see themselves reflected in the curriculum and fosters a sense of belonging.

Respect for Differences: Encouraging discussions about cultural differences in a respectful manner helps students appreciate diversity and learn from one another.


Parental Involvement: Teachers should involve parents in their child's education, maintaining open lines of communication to discuss progress, challenges, and goals.

Teamwork: Collaborating with colleagues, administrators, and other stakeholders enhances the overall educational experience. Sharing best practices and working together for the benefit of students is essential.


  • Section 295A of the IPC makes it a criminal offence to intentionally insult the religious feelings of any community by using spoken or written words, signs, or visible representations. Violators can face imprisonment for up to three years, a fine, or both. Exceptions exist for acts done in good faith or for legitimate criticism, but intentional and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings are punishable under this law.


Q. What is the fundamental role of a teacher in shaping the future of students, and how do ethical values guide teachers in fostering a positive learning environment and promoting the overall well-being of their students?