Identification of Minorities
Recently, the central government has sought more time from the Supreme Court (SC) to hold a meeting with the states for the identification of minorities.
- Earlier, the Supreme Court has expressed displeasure over the Center taking a different stand on the issue of identification of minorities, including Hindus, at the state level.
- The SC had also directed the Center to consult with the states on the issue.
- In March 2022, the central government had said that any decision on this issue was to be taken by the states/UTs.
- Later, the Center told the Supreme Court that the power to notify minorities rests with the central government.
Minority status in India
- The word ‘minority’ has not been defined in the Constitution. In this only the word minority is mentioned.
- The rights of minorities are described under Article 29 and
- Also, Article 350B provides for the appointment of special officers for linguistic minorities.
- However, the Central Government has declared Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis as ‘minorities’ using the National Commission for Minorities Act,
- The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) Act, 2004 has been enacted to protect the educational rights of minorities.
- Recently, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a petition seeking district-wise identification of minorities. The Court held this demand against the judgments of the Kerala Education Bill (1958) and TMA Pai (2002)
Source – The Hindu