Right to Start Educational Institutions

Posted In Education, India - By NitiN Kumar Jain On Thursday, March 5th, 2009 With 0 Comments

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Currently reads Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India

“All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”

The above provision gives the religious minorities and linguistic minorities in the States the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. This provision has existed since the Constitution was adopted and the religious/linguistic minorities have been in terms of the provisions of Article 30(1) establishing and administering their own educational institutions.

In minority-run educational institutions, the Government’s policy of caste-based reservations is also not applicable. In fact the newly enacted Article 15(5) explicitly exempts minority run institutions from the ambit of the new reservation system.

Most States in India are currently implementing the policy of caste-based reservations in favour of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Castes and Denotified Tribes in educational institutions under the State as well as in Jobs under the State. In States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka etc, an overwhelming majority of the population of the State have been categorised as “socially and educationally backward” making them eligible for reservations. For example, in Tamil Nadu, over 95% of the population falls in the reserved category. The RC are not only entitled to the reservation quota, but if they find a place in the merit list, such RC candidates are not adjusted against the reservation quota. This has resulted in a piquant and most unjust situation vis-à-vis the Unreserved caste Hindu people (URC). If the Unreserved Category People don’t find a place in the merit, they can consider themselves finished. They will neither get higher education nor better jobs and consequently, they will be pushed into poverty, backwardness and destitution. It could also amount to defacto deprivation of citizenship and the right to live as per Article 21 and the freedom to pursue any business/profession/vocation as per Article 19(f).

The solution is a Constitutional Amendment to Article 30(1) and 30(2). The Amendment can be carried out by insertion of the words “whether based on religion, language or caste” in place of the current provision “whether based on religion or language”.

The amendment as suggested above will enable CASTE MINORITIES (such as Brahmins etc) in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra etc to establish and administer their own educational institutions so that the Government’s policy of caste-based reservations will not hamper their education and advancement. This amendment will ensure that no matter what the percentage of reservation quotas in education and jobs, caste minorities will be assured of opportunities of education, jobs and progress.