Article 30: Concept and Issues

Article 30: Concept and Issues

Question : Protecting rights of religious and ethnic minorities is the bedrock of the Indian Constitution. Examine A30 for the protection of minority rights and issues underlying this Article of the Constitution.

A. About A30

• Article 30 of the Indian Constitution ensures protection of minority rights

• A30 is classified under Part III of the Constitution of India

• It highlights the principle of equality of all communities in India including minorities

• It guarantees Fundamental Rights to Indian citizens regardless of their religion, caste and gender

• A30 also upholds the rights of linguistic and religious minorities to form educational institutions of their choice

• It also directs the government to ensure minority rights are not abrogated in case of mandatory acquisition of educational institutions by minorities

• Clause 1A was inserted in A30 through the 44 AA in 1978

• Basic objective of this clause is that minority institution’s acquisition should be followed by conformable compensation

• Clause 2 of A30 states that government should not discriminate against educational institutions of minorities while granting aid

B. Issues Underlying A30

• A30 has set a wrong precedence by giving minorities the right to administer educational institutions because government cannot intervene in case of mismanagement. Even in gross malpractice, government cannot take charge of the institution

• Clause 1A has also been criticised because it exempts minority institutions from implementation of reservation policy for backward castes

• A30 also exempts unaided minority institutions from reserving 25% of seats for poor; though this is a positive move, the legislation conversely denies non-minorities the right to establish and administer their institutions

• A30 divided the country based on religious differences; it protects the rights of few but denies equal status to the majority
• Many institutions have started claiming minority status to gain the benefits of the Article

• A30 specifies two kinds of minorities-religious and linguistic and for this purpose of deciding who is a minority community, headcount within the geographical unit has been prescribed by SC

• To benefit from this, institutions have started establishing themselves in regions where they are considered minorities for example, Gujarati institutions are benefitted in Maharashtra and Marathi institutions in Karnataka

• Moreover, A30 has defined minorities without reference to size. So while Parsis are a minority, so are Muslims even though India is the second largest Muslim country in the world

• Majority institutions are suffering on account of the Article because they receive constant interference from the political class and bureaucrats

• A30 has focused on preventing the majority from exercising the same choice that minorities have

• Rights of minority institutions should have instead been based on autonomy associated with state funding

Facts and Stats

• A29 and A30 both grant certain rights to minorities

• A29 protects minorities interests through provision that any citizen/group of citizens with distinct language, script of culture should have the right to protect the same

• A29 states that no discrimination must be done based on factors such as race, religion, caste etc

• A30 mandates that all minorities based on religion or language should have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice;Madrasas are administered under A30

• A30 is also referred to as Charter of Education Rights
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