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Identification of Minorities

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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

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