PIL seeking to ensure identity of minorities
The Supreme Court has given a last opportunity to the Center to file its reply on a PIL seeking to ensure the identity of minorities at the state level.
The PIL has sought necessary directions to frame guidelines for identifying minorities at the state level. According to the petition, Hindus are a minority in 10 states of the country.
The petition also sought minority status for Hindus in 6 states and 2 union territories. According to the 2011 Census, there has been a decline in the population of Hindus in these states and union territories.
Minority status in India-
- The Constitution does not define the word minority. It refers only to minorities. Also, the rights of minorities are mentioned under Article 29 and 30.
- However, the Center has declared Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis as ‘minorities’ using the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
- In T.M.A Pai Foundation, 2002, the Supreme Court had ruled that linguistic and religious minorities should be determined by considering the state as a unit rather than taking into account the population of the country as a whole.
- The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 was enacted to protect the educational rights of minorities.
Benefits of getting minority status
- Minority communities benefit from special schemes run by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
- The freedom of operation of educational institutions and trusts has been provided under Article 30(6) of the Constitution and certain other provisions.
About The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI)
- NCMEI was formed in the year 2004 under the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act. It acts as an appellate authority in respect of disputes relating to minority status.
- It is a quasi-judicial body. It has been given the powers of a civil court.
- It has the power to revoke the minority status of an educational institution on the grounds laid down in the Act.
Source – The Hindu