GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
The Supreme Court has held that the government aid to an institution is a matter of policy and it is not a fundamental right.
What’s the case?
The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh’ government challenging the 2018 Allahabad High Court verdict holding that a regulation framed under The Intermediate Education Act, 1921 is unconstitutional. The apex court set aside the HC verdict.
Important observations made by the Court:
- Grant of aid brings with it conditions which the institution receiving it is bound to comply with. If an institution does not want to accept the conditions, it can decline the grant but cannot say that the grant must be on its own terms.
- A decision to grant aid is by way of policy. While doing so, the government is not only concerned with the interest of the institutions but the ability to undertake such an exercise.
- As regards aided institutions, there cannot be any difference between a minority and non-minority one. Article 30 of the Constitution of India is subject to its own restrictions being reasonable.
Constitutional Provisions regarding Minority Educational Institutions:
Article 30(1) recognizes linguistic and religious minorities but not those based on race, ethnicity.
- It recognizes the right of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, in effect recognizing the role educational institutions play in preserving distinct culture.
- A majority community can also establish and administer educational institutions but they will not enjoy special rights under Article 30(1)(a).
Special rights enjoyed by religious minority institutions are:
- Under Art 30(1)(a), MEI enjoy right to education as a Fundamental Right. In case the property is taken over by state, due compensation to be provided to establish institutions elsewhere
- Under Article 15(5), MEIs are not considered for reservation
- Under Right to Education Act, MEI not required to provide admission to children in the age group of 6-14 years upto 25% of enrolment reserved for economically backward section of society
- In St Stephens vs Delhi University case, 1992, SC ruled that MEIs can have 50% seats reserved for minorities
- In TMA Pai & others vs State of Karnataka & others 2002 case, SC ruled that MEIs can have separate admission process which is fair, transparent and merit based. They can also separate fee structure but should not charge capitation fee.
Did you know that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice? Reference: read this.
- Various rights available for MEIs.
- Rights of Minority vs other institutions.
- Can states interfere in their internal matters?
- What is NEET?
Write a note on constitutional rights conferred upon minority educational institutions in India.
Sources: the Hindu.