Measures needed to make NCM more effective

  • To reduce pendency of cases at the organizational level, the Commission should set certain baseline targets related to the pendency rates.
  • At regular intervals, conducting a staffing needs assessment may be a useful solution to address the problem of vacant positions at the leadership level.
  • NCM should develop a Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey for parties to anonymously provide feedback regarding how their appeal was processed, irrespective of the decision made.
  • Technological upgrades including investment in more sophisticated information management systems could help reduce the pendency rates of cases in the Commission such as e-hearing.
  • The strengthening of the State Commissions and setting up new state-level commissions, where these do not yet exist, can help in reducing the pendency rates and increasing hearings’ effectiveness of the Commission.
  • NCM could fulfil its duties assigned in its mandate if the greater legal and constitutional authority is extended to the Commission. The Commission could be more effective if it has greater authority to conduct independent enquiries in cases of the transgression of rights of the minorities

To hold true to our commitment to the idea of unity in diversity, and ensure compliance to the constitutional articles viz, Article 15 and 16, Article 25 (1), 26 and 28, Article 29, Article 30, there is a need to give teeth to this organisation. As we witness the rise of populist-majoritarian movements which tend to render minority rights ignored and suppressed, the National Minorities Commission (NCM) as an institution has the potential to serve as the protector and a beacon of minority rights in India.