The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004

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The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 was passed in the year 2004 to constitute a Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. As prior to the Act there was no Commission dealing with Minority Educational Institutions and need for certain institutions increased as minorities not given preference to educational opportunities. National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions was established to protect and safeguard the educational institutions in India which established by the minorities. Commission was established to fulfill the welfare objectives of the minorities mentioned in the national common minimum programme, Government of India through an ordinance in the year 2004 established a Commission called National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. As Commission established through the promulgation of ordinance, Department of secondary and higher education, Government of India notified National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Ordinance 2004 and thereafter on 16th November 2004, Commission constituted by the notification of Human Resource Deployment with Capital city Delhi as its head quarters

The Act consists of 26 Sections in brief and explanation provided thereto and it extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. As per Section 3 of the Act Central Government by notification in the official gazette constitute a body known as the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions to exercise the powers and obligate the functions conferred on by the Act. The Commission consists of three members who belongs to the member of minority community members as chairperson as the head who is the Judge of High Court and two other members who are nominated by the Central Government. The member of the Commission has three roles under the Act as advisory function, adjudicatory function and recommendatory powers. Every member of the Commission holds office of the Commission for a term of five years and they can resign office at anytime by writing it to the Central Government and Central Government has the authority to remove a person/member from the office of the Commission as laid in provisions specified under Section 5(3).

Act provides special provision relates to the Rights to establish a Minority Education Institution as specified under Section 10 and chapter III of the Act. Any person who desires can apply to competent authority to establish a Institution and competent authority on perusal of certificates/documents provided may grant or reject the application. And regarding affiliation of a minority educational institution to a university under Section 10A, the decision of the Commission would be final. The Commission which constituted under Act with his members has wide functions to perform as specified in Section 11 of the Act, Commission been a quasi-judicial body has endowed with the powers of a Civil Court while performing its functions under Section 11, apart from functions, Commission has wide powers under Section 12 of the Act which inclusive of trying a suit and matters leading to summoning, examining the oath receiving evidence of affidavits and matters connected thereto. Any person who aggrieved by the order refusal or objection certificate under Section 10 (2) can make appeal against the order within thirty days under Section 12 A.

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Central Government by notification in the official gazette has wide powers to make rules and remove difficulties as provided in Section 24 and 25 of the Act, which includes the power to make rules regarding the salaries and other allowance given to members of Commission. Central Government has other authority to check the status of the annual statement of accounts of the Commission under Section 15 and annual report prepared under Section16.

The constitution of India provides special rights to both linguistic and religious minorities, it also ensure rights of minorities to administer and establish the educational institutions based on their choice as provided in the Article 30 of the Constitution. No laws be discriminated against minorities with regard to the establishment and administration of the educational institutions. Supreme Court has right pointed the whole concept of minorities’ right in St Xavier’s college case as Article 30 of the Constitution of India has the special right to minorities based on the equality and if right of minorities they  denied equality.  Commission can make recommendations to the Central and State Governments relates to the matter which deprives the educational rights of minority community as enshrined in Article 30.

The empowerment of the Commission highlighted the grievances and act as a needed forum for the minority educational institutions to get the speedy relief. Relief been granted in all cases and matters by a complaint which includes  non issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC)  by the State Governments, denial of permission to create new posts of teachers in minority educational institutions, refusal of new courses in minority institution  etc. Over the entire Act provides minorities to establish administer educational institutes and affiliated them to central universities as it been very important as equity and unity of our country lies on enactment of these types of Act.

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 by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar