This article is written by Himani Singh, of Bhartiya Vidhyapeeth University. The article talks about the Right of Minorities to establish and govern their own Educational institution.
Considering the factor of education and its need, the Constitution made certain provisions for the minorities to avail them with the benefit to establish and govern their own educational institution (Article 30) where they can help the student from their community to give some privilege and support their education.
Meaning of Minority institution
The term ‘minority’ isn’t defined in our Constitution. It is derived from the Latin word ‘minor’ and suffix ‘ity’ meaning in small number. In regards to the Kerala Education Bill, the Supreme Court noticed that while it was anything but difficult to state that the minority means a community which is numerically less than half (50%) isn’t in relation to the whole legislation. If it is a State law, a minority would be determined in relation to the number of inhabitants/citizen in the State. Minority under Article 29 and 30 would be determined according to the population of that State. As accordingly, it was held in regards Kerala Education Bill, that Christians, Muslims, and Anglo Indians would be minorities in the State of Kerala.
The word ‘linguist minority’ according to the purpose of Article 30(1) is one which must have separate spoken language and the language that does not have a distinct script. In India, there are various languages which are spoken but do not have any script of their own. But still, they are spoken by the individuals. To protect them, Article 30(1) was introduced in the Constitution of India. A linguistic minority must be considered in accordance with the language spoken by them and not according to the language which they want their youngsters to study.
The word ‘religious minority’ means ‘that the principal basis of the minority should be in adherence to one of the many religions and not a sector or part of the religion. Jains and Sikhs have been held to be counted as minorities based on religion within the meaning of Article 30(1) in the Union Territory of Delhi.
National Commission for Minority Educational Institution Act, 2004 has defined ‘minority’ as a community which is defined as according to the central government and ‘Minority institution’ as an educational institution which is administered and set up by the minority.
Protection of Interests of Minorities (Article 29)
- Every section of citizens of India residing in the territory or any part of India and having distinct script, language, and culture of their own must have a right to conserve the same.
- A citizen should not be denied admission into any educational institution which is maintained by the State or getting aid or supports out of State funds on grounds of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
Rights of Minorities to establish and administer Educational Institutions (Article 30)
- All minorities should have right to set up and govern educational institutions according to their own choice.
- If the government is having an acquisition on any property of minority educational institution then the government should keep this in mind that a fixed price should be settled in a way that does not deter the rights minorities
- The State shall not, differentiate among any educational institution on the ground that it is under the administration of a minority whether in terms of a religion or a language.
Top 3 judgments on the Right given to Minority to Set Up and Govern their Educational Institutions
Refusal to give recognition or affiliation by the statutory authority without just and adequate grounds is a breach of Article 30(1)
In Managing Board of the Milli Talimi Mission Bihar and Ors. vs State of Bihar and Ors. 1984 (4) SCC 500 – The Supreme Court has clearly held that running a minority institution is a fundamental right and as important as other rights presented to the citizen of the nation. If the State Government declines to give acknowledgment or a university declines to concede affiliation to a minority educational institution without just and adequate grounds, the immediate outcome is to crush the very presence of the institution itself. In this manner, refusal to give recognition or affiliation by the statutory authority without just and adequate grounds is an infringement of the right ensured under Article 30(1) of the Constitution. (Here)
Appointment of Staff in Minority Institutions-
In State of Bihar vs Syed Raza, AIR 197 SC 2425 – It has been held that for the formation of the post in a minority institution for appointment earlier approval of the Vice-Chancellor isn’t important and the people so appointed would be qualified for allowing to help in view of Article 30(1) of the Constitution. Proviso (2) of Article 30 says that the State should not, in allowing aid to educational institutions, differentiating any educational institution on the ground that it is under the administration of a minority, regardless of whether it is based on religion or language.(Here)
Rights and obligations of private unaided institutions run by minorities
In the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation vs the State of Karnataka, (2002) 8 SCC 481 AIR 2003 SC 355 -Supreme Court was not concerned with the rights of the aid of minority and non-minority institutions and limitation imposed by the states upon them but was concerned only with the rights and obligations of private unaided institutions run by minorities and non-minorities. (HERE)
National Commission for Minority Educational Institution
It was established on 11th November 2004 which later got replaced by the new act passed on December 2004. Its main function is to provide protection to an interest of minorities in terms of minorities educational institution. Functions of National Commission for Minority Education Institution –
- Giving advice to state government and central government on any query related to the education of minorities.
- Interfering in any proceeding related to deprivation or violation of the educational right of the minorities before the court.
- Measures to protect the minority status and character of the institution.
- Take decision for all questions concerning the status of any minority educational institution.
- It recommends to the government to implement schemes for the minority educational institution
The National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions Act, 2004
Under this certain provisions are laid down for the establishment and administration of the minority educational institution.
How to set up minority educational institution in India – Compliance to follow
(1) Any individual who wants to set up a Minority Institution may apply to the Competent Authority (it is under Sub Clause(ca) of 2, NCMEI, as an authority to grant NOCs for this purpose) to get no objection certificate and application should be made in the prescribed pattern (see here).
NOTE -Before submitting an application to the Commission, an application should be complete according to the prescribed form (see here)
(2) The Commission should:-
- On the scrutiny of documents, affidavits or other evidence, if any;
The following documents are required:-
- Applicant’s minority institution must be registered either as a trust under Public Trust Act, 1950 or it should be registered as a society under Societies Regulation Act, 1860.
- If it is registered under society then the copy of society registration certificate should be attached with the application form.
- If registered with Trust then Trust deed, then Association note/memorandum, Rules, and regulation with all the amendments should get attached.
- An affidavit signed by the President or by the Secretary of the society or the trust should be attached.
- If an individual run institution, an applicant must file an affidavit and should attach the copy of the affidavit for the concerning to the educational authority for running the minority educational institution.
- Major parts of trust member of the managing committee of the society of applicants institution must be from the community of the applicant.
- An application should be original and complete in all respect. It should be submitted with the copy of all the relevant documents and along with the five extra set of application should be submitted.
- According to Section 10(2) of NCMEI, after availing the opportunity to be heard to the applicant, choose each application filed under Section 10(1) as quickly as possible and allow or dismiss the application, as the case may be.
- Given that where an application is rejected, the Competent expert should impart the same to the candidate.
(3) Wherein the time of ninety days is given from the receipt of the application under Section 10 (1) gives no objection certificate:
The Competent authority/commission does not give such certificate; or
- Where an application has been rejected and the same has not been informed to the individual who has applied for such certificate.
- It should be regarded that the Competent authority has given a no objection certificate to the to the applicant.
After obtaining minority status certificate
- It can select its governing body in whom the organizers of the institution have belief, confidence, and certainty to lead and deal with the affairs of the institution.
- It can allot teaching and non-teaching staff.
- To concede the student of its own community. Non-minority students can’t be constrained upon it. Neither the policy of reservation on an admission of student can be enforced by the State nor can any quota or percentage of admission be cut out to be suitable by the State in a minority educational institution. But if the institution is accepting any financial support from the State at that point Sub-clause (2) of Article 29 of Constitution obligates the administration to admit a non-minority student to a reasonable degree.
- It can form a reasonable fee charge structure of its own.
- It takes action on bad behavior or conducts against any member of its staff.
The Supreme Court held in the Case of P.A. Inamdar vs State of Maharashtra [2006 (6) SCC 537] that:
- The policy of reservation to admit students is not applicable to a minority institution.
- The policy of reservation in terms of employment is not applicable to a minority institution.
Where to complain if the Competent Authority is disallowing your legitimate legal request for setting up a minority educational institution?
- If any applicant is not satisfied with the order under Section 10(2) of refusal then he can file an appeal against the order of the Competent Authority given under Section 12A (1).
- An appeal under Section 12A(1) should be filed within 30 days from the date of an order communicated to an applicant by the competent authority.
AICTE guidelines on Minority and Non-minority educational institution, Handbook 2018-19
There are certain guidelines which are provided by the AICTE. These guidelines are mandatory for all the colleges which come under AICTE whether it is Minority or Non-minority colleges. All the colleges which are under AICTE should follow certain guidelines which are given by AICTE for its colleges which are (as follows).
List of Minority Educational Institutions affiliated by AICTE
There are some 37 minority educational institution which comes under the AICTE and those colleges are listed (here).
Benefits available to Minority Institutions
There are, comprehensively, three advantages accessible to a minority educational institution that is not accessible to other institutions-
- Minority educational institutions don’t need to keep up a reservation in work or affirmations for SCs, STs, and OBCs as required to be done by other educational institutions.
- In respect of control over representatives, minority educational institutions have substantially more prominent power than other institutions. For example, in the selection of teacher and principals, the minority educational institution can have a choice advisory group which does exclude the university representatives. Thus, while in customary schools the headmaster ordinarily must be appointed based on seniority, minority administrations can choose a headmaster according to their own choice.
- In case of admission of the student, minority educational institutions can have a reservation of up to 50 percent for the student of their own community.
The idea to make the provision for minorities to protect their educational right is not inequality towards the privileged classes but it definitely gives the sense of security to the minority class people.
It is clear from the census that the minorities in India are not well-off when compared with the privileged class. Therefore, it is important to give the minorities certain legal rights, thus helping them uplifting their position in the society. The idea behind implementation of article 30 of the Indian Constitution is to provide the minorities with the Fundamental Right to establish and govern their own educational institution thus providing benefit to the people of their community.
The provision laid down under the constitution allowing the minority to establish and set up their own institution has been proved beneficial to the minority community in terms of educational growth e.g Jains are the minority community that has the highest literacy rate and the majority of their population is educated.