laws on minority

Educational Rights of Minorities Under Indian Law


Educational Rights of Minorities Under Indian Law. The expression “minority” has been derived from the Latin word “minor” and the suffix ‘ity’, which means “small in number.J.A Laponce describes “Minority” as a group of persons having a different race, language, or religion from that of a majority of inhabitants.

The term Minority has not been defined under the Indian constitution. But the following communities have been notified as minority communities by the Government of India, Ministry of Minority Affairs;

  1. Sikhs
  2. Muslims
  3. Christians
  4. Buddhists
  5. Jains
  6. Parsis

Article 29(2)  states that citizens belonging to different religion, race, caste, language or any of them, shall not be disallowed to take admission into any educational institution which is under the supervision of the State or getting help out of State funds on the basis of religion, race, caste, language .thus, it guarantees equality of admission into any educational institutes maintained by the state government or receiving aid from the government. but, this section only applies to educational institutions established for conserving the religion, race, caste, language and not on any other grounds.

ARTICLE 30(1)All minorities, whether based on language or religion shall have all the rights to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. this only guarantees the rights of minorities based on religion or language.

The right to establish educational institutions confers right on the minorities to establish an educational institution of his own.

In the case of  T.M.A PAI FOUNDATION VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA Supreme court of India held that minorities can establish an educational institution of any kind as schools, colleges,, technical and professional institutions.

The administration of educational institutions is also the right of minorities under this section. thus, it is to be noticed that Establish and Administer should always be read together, the minorities can claim rights for the administration of the educational institution which is established by them and not on any other educational institution.

D.A.V. College, Bhatinda v. the State of Punjab, the University ordered that Punjabi would be the one and only medium of instruction in affiliated colleges. The Court held that the right provided to minorities under Article 30 guarantees them to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice which also includes the right of giving instructions in their own language and the University Circular was directly violating their right to have instructions in Hindi as their own language and therefore infringing the Article 30 (1).

A University has the authority to suggest the qualification of their academic staff but the selection and recruitment of teachers remain in the hands of the minority educational institutions.

This right of the minority is not an absolute right and is subject to the regulatory power of the is not the right of maladministration. these regulatory measures are necessary for the efficient and sound administration of educational the case of SAINT XAVIER VS. STATE OF GUJRAT, Supreme court held that the right to administer implies the correlative duty of good administration.

Members of communities other than minority communities cannot be forced upon minority schools. in the case of PARAMATI EDUCATIONAL TRUST AND CULTURAL TRUST VS. UOI., Supreme court held that the members of communities other than minority communities which have established school cannot be forced because that will destroy the basic character of the constitution.

ARTICLE 30(2)provides right against discrimination in matters relating to granting aids to educational institutions.

Brahmachari  Sidheswar v. State of West Bengal,  Ram Krishna Mission case,  Supreme Court that the Ram Krishna Mission was set up by Swami Vivekananda to spread the idea and values of Vedanta as explained by Ram Krishna is not considered as a religion that falls under the minority community and it is not apart from Hindu religion but it is a religious section or a branch of Hindu religion. Therefore they are unable to exercise the fundamental rights provided under Article 30 (1) of the Indian Constitution. Sri Ram Krishna could be considered and recognized as a religious mentor who explained, applied and delivered the concepts and ideas of Vedanta which is the basic block for the foundation of the Hindu religion.


In the Kerala Education Bill81, Reference Case (1959) Chief Justice S. R. Das observed, “So long as the constitution stands as it is and is not altered, it is, we conceive it, the duty of this court to uphold the Fundamental Rights and thereby honour our sacred obligations to the minority communities who are of our own”. Justice Das has made it very clear that these rights are to be treated as “Sacred obligations to the minorities”. he has made the following observations on Article 30 (1), “The minorities quite understandably regard it as essential that the education of their children should be in accordance with the teachings of their religion and their hope. Quite honestly such education cannot be obtained in ordinary schools designed for all the members of the public, but can only be secured in schools conducted under the influence and guidance of people well-versed in the tenets of their religion and in the traditions of their culture. The minorities evidently desire that education should be imparted to their children of their community in an atmosphere congenial to the growth of their culture. Our constitution makers recognized the validity of their claims and to allay their fears conferred on them the fundamental rights referred to above”.

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